THAI PROTESTERS TAKE TO THE STREETS, DEFYING ORDERS


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Protests broke out in Bangkok last week demanding the release of fellow demonstrators who were arrested last year during violent rallies calling for the resignation of the country’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha.
As noted in the Trends Journal’s 10 November 2020 article, “PRO-DEMOCRACY PROTESTS CONTINUE TO RAGE IN THAILAND,” many of the disenfranchised youth in Thailand took aim at the country’s monarchy. The penalty these protesters faced at the time was 15 years in prison for insulting or threatening the king.
Protesters wanted Prayuth to resign and want the country to take steps toward becoming more democratic. These include an amendment to the constitution and reforms to the monarchy. Protesters said King Vajiralongkorn wields too much power. They also resent that the monarchy controls a fortune of about $40 billion.
Al Jazeera reported courts in the country have taken an aggressive stance against the protesters and, in many cases, have denied bail requests. The protests that have been organized are seen as an affront on Prayuth, who called on demonstrators to stay home due to the risk of coronavirus.
One of the top officials from the Bangkok Metropolitan Police Bureau said at a news conference, “Protests are illegal. Anyone who joined or invites others to join is breaking the law.”
The report pointed out that Prayuth, a former army commander, became prime minister in 2014 after a military coup.
“We have to love each other and be united, not divided, and respect the law,” he said, according to the report.
TREND FORECAST: As we have written, discontent in Thailand has been brewing since the 2014 military coup d’état.
As with the Hong Kong protesters, who ignited the uprising in 2019, and the recent Myanmar protests, many of the demonstrators are young adults, the foundation of the “Youth Revolution.” 
As reported by UNICEF, the youth unemployment rate in Thailand is seven times higher compared to the total population. Thailand’s economy’s real GDP contracted 6.1 percent in 2020, its fastest pace in decades, according to Nikkei Asia. 
Thus, as economic conditions decline and with nothing left to lose, the youth protests will continue and the military suppression will escalate. 
TREND FORECAST: Youth Revolutions against ruling powers will continue to grow in cities and towns across the globe. Here is the key that explains why: About 41 percent of the global population are under 24. They’re angry about the lack of well-paying jobs, rising costs, austerity measures, and corrupt governments. They see the expanding gap between rich and poor.
Based on data from Credit Suisse, the wealthiest “one percent” of the world’s population now owns more than half the world’s wealth. Furthermore, this one percent saw their share grow at the fastest rate ever over the past 18 years.

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