Why Thailand’s Leaderless Protests May Have Already Succeeded

Pro-democracy protesters raise three fingers, a symbol of resistance, during a rally in Bangkok, Thailand, Aug, 16, 2020 (AP photo by Sakchai Lalit).
Pro-democracy protesters raise three fingers, a symbol of resistance, during a rally in Bangkok, Thailand, Aug, 16, 2020 (AP photo by Sakchai Lalit).
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Towering over a traffic circle in downtown Bangkok, the Democracy Monument has borne witness to Thailand’s tumultuous political history. Built over eight decades ago, it features arching white wings that stand seven stories tall. At their base are militaristic images commemorating the country’s bloodless revolution of 1932, which ended the absolute monarchy and began a rocky transition to democracy. Since then, Thailand has gone through 18 constitutions and 13 coups. Along the way, the Democracy Monument has become a site of frequent popular protest—and violent suppression. In 1973, for example, security forces killed dozens of protesters who had gathered near […]

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