Thailand: Over 100,000 Students and Workers demonstrate against the King and the Regime

For the Removal of Prayut Chan-o-cha and his Regime! Abolish the Monarchy of King Vajiralongkorn!


Article by Laurence Humphries, RCIT Britain, 2 October 2020,


Since July 2020 there have been continual protests by students and workers calling for the resignation of Prayut Chan-o-cha (Prime Minister of Thailand) and for an end of the monarchy. This regime, which will not relinquish power, is hated and despised for its decision to ban the Future Forward Party, a bourgeois party campaigning for democracy. In Thailand, its leader was arrested and the party was banned preventing it from standing candidates or fight against these anti-democratic practices. The Thai regime overthrew the Yingluck Shinawatra government in 2014.


In 2019 the Pheu Thai Party polled enough votes to at least challenge for power. This was thwarted by Prayut Chan-o-cha and his party, Palang Pracharat, because as the Prime Minister at the time of the election he was able to appoint 250 military personnel to the Senate and thereby ensure his majority under Thailand’s anti-democratic constitution.


“Openly challenging the rule of Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn, thousands of protesters have marched in Bangkok for the second straight day to present demands that include a call for reforms to curb his powers.


Protesters have grown bolder during two months of demonstrations calling for reform of the monarchy, as well as for the removal of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former military government leader, and a new constitution and elections-dominated establishment. The king is not in Thailand, and the Grand Palace made no immediate comment.


The marchers were blocked by hundreds of unarmed police manning crowd-control barriers, but protest leaders declared a victory after saying Royal Guard police had agreed to pass on their demands to police headquarters.”[1]


The Role of the Constitutional Monarchy in Thailand


King Vajiralongkorn is contemptuous of his subjects and while Covid-19 was raging through Thailand, he left the country with his entourage and harem of consorts and booked himself into a hotel in Germany. He is still there together with over 70 million baht from the Thai treasury. This decision has all the makings of a decadent regime accepting diktats from a corrupt monarchy.


“Demonstrators want a revised constitution and are also calling for reform of the monarchy - a sensitive subject in Thailand. Under Thai law, anyone criticising the royal family faces long prison sentences. There have been almost daily student-led demonstrations in recent weeks. Several protest leaders have been arrested.


But organisers said they hoped Sunday's rally would show broader support for change beyond the student groups. We want a new election and a new parliament from the people," 24-year-old student activist Patsalawalee Tanakitwiboonpon told the cheering crowd. 'Lastly, our dream is to have a monarchy which is truly under the constitution.'”[2]


Red Shirts of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship join the Protests


The most significant development of this growing protest movement has been the involvement of the Red Shirts, seasoned supporters of Thaksin Shinawatra – the founder of the Thai Rak Thai Party. Shinawatra had the backing of his veteran supporters (mainly workers) as his petty bourgeois messages attracted support from the urban poor and the proletariat in Thailand. It was due to their support that the Shinawatra clan was able to win power and allow a minimum programme of reforms like the rice allowance under Yinluck Shinawatra's government, which helped workers who worked in the rice fields.


“The mostly young demonstrators, who began the day by assembling at Tha Prachan campus of Thammasat University nearby, have also vowed to press for a new constitution, an end to military-dominated government and reform of the monarchy, an issue that has provoked strong reactions from more conservative segments of society.


However, an increasing number of seasoned protest veterans from the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), after keeping a low profile for the past few years, have decided it’s time to throw their support behind the movement” [3].


“Our greatest victory in the two days is showing that ordinary people like us can send a letter to royals,” Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, (who has since the demonstration been jailed by the regime) told the crowd before it dispersed.


At the biggest demonstration in years, tens of thousands of protesters on Saturday cheered calls for reform of the monarchy as well as for the removal of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former junta leader, and a new constitution and elections.


Shortly after sunrise on Sunday, protesters cemented a plaque near the Grand Palace in Bangkok in the area known as Sanam Luang, or Royal Field. It reads, “At this place the people have expressed their will: that this country belongs to the people and is not the property of the monarch as they have deceived us”. [4].


For a Workers Government based on the Urban and Rural Poor


The RCIT fully supports the actions of the students and Workers who demonstrated in Bangkok. This was a historic moment in the revolutionary developments emerging in Thailand. The task in Thailand is to take these protests further and unite students, workers, the rural and the urban poor in a campaign of insurrection to remove the Prayut Chan-o-cha regime and abolish the monarchy of King Vajiralongkorn. This can only be achieved through the construction of a revolutionary trained combat party. The regime and the king are the twin pillars of an authoritarian Bonapartist dictatorship. Bourgeois democracy in Thailand is being erased. The importance of these demonstrations cannot be underestimated. Workers and particularly the most progressive wing of the Red Shirts in the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) and the militant students will form the backbone of a revolutionary movement dedicated to overthrowing this regime.


We would welcome discussions with workers and students about our programe, which we present as a basis for discussion on the way ahead for students, workers, the urban and rural poor.


* For the expropriation of big business and International Corporations. Nationalize the Banks under workers control!


* For a Revolutionary Constituent assembly where full democratic discussion can take place based on Councils of action and popular assemblies.


* Continue to support the current demonstrations of students and the urban poor! Organize strikes and protests leading to an indefinite General strike! For the overthrow of the Prayut Chan-o-cha regime!


* For armed self-defense guards to protect workers, students and communities from police provocations and fascist attacks!


* Abolish the monarchy! For a Workers Government based on the rural and urban poor!


* Join the RCIT and help us build the 5th International! Let us fight together for an international revolutionary movement dedicated to the destruction of Imperialism and Capitalism!