Thailand: LGBT and anti-gov’t protesters join Pride Parade

Thai anti-government protesters among LGBT community at pride parade in Bangkok, Thailand, November 7, 2020 – Image: REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

(Reuters) – More than 1,000 members of Thailand’s LGBT community, and anti-government protesters, joined in a Pride Parade on Saturday to call for equal rights, as well for the ousting of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, and reforms to the monarchy.

A protest movement that emerged in July has drawn a wide range of interest groups, to push for greater democracy and human rights in the Southeast Asian country.

Members of the LGBT community, wearing colourful outfits, marched in the capital Bangkok with youth and student protesters, who tend to favour black clothes.

“We agree that real democracy for Thailand will be the start of equality for Thai people and for rights to be prioritised again,” said teacher Lalita Waisinittham, 26.

Protesters had initially demanded the removal of Prayuth, a former junta leader they accuse of engineering last year’s election to keep power, but demonstrations have also broken taboos, by calling for curbs on King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s powers.

Prayuth says last year’s election was fair, and has refused to step down. The Palace has made no official comment on the protests, but last weekend the king said:

“We love them all the same”, when asked to comment on the protesters.

Another anti-government demonstration is due on Sunday.

-Matthew Tostevin

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