Today, Khana Ratsadon will march from Samyan Intersection to the German Embassy on Sathorn Road. Germany has been the residence of His Majesty King Rama 10 for many years.
On 8 October, during Germany’s parliament debate, Foreign Minister Heiko Mass replied to a question alleging that the king directs Thai politics from Germany.
“We have made it clear that politics concerning Thailand should not be conducted from German soil.”
How did we get here?
On 18 July, thousands of pro-democracy protestors converged at the Democracy Monument under the three core demands: stop harassing/persecuting the people, rewrite the constitution, and hold new elections.
On 19 September, an estimated upward to 100,000 people gathered at Sanam Luang. The following day, Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul submitted the ten demands to reform the monarchy institution to the Supreme Court. It was received by the police.
Shortly after, the different pro-democracy movements united, calling themselves Khana Ratsadon. They issued three new core demands: the resignation of General Prayut Chan-co-cha, rewriting the constitution, and reforming the monarchy institution.
On 14 October, Khana Ratsadon marched from the Democracy Monument to Government House. Tens of thousands of people joined. The police blocked many routes to make way for the king’s royal motorcade and the royal family.
The police sealed off Makkhawan Bridge, blocking the main body of Khana Ratsadon from crossing over to Government House. On the other side, however, were protestors and journalists who took a different route.
Without warning from the police, the royal motorcade carrying Her Majesty the Queen and the heir apparent appeared from behind the protesters. Many protestors converged on the royal motorcade, flashing the three-finger salute and chanting, “our tax money,” as the police formed a ring around the royal motorcade.
In a matter of minutes, the protestors gave way to the royal motorcade.
Later, the police gave way to the main body of Khana Ratsadon.
At 4am the next morning, the police in full riot gear came to disperse protestors who camped out overnight in front of Government House. Khana Ratsdon leader Anon Nampa asked the protestors to go home peacefully.
The government issued the “Serious Emergency Situation in Bangkok.”
That same morning, Anon, Panusaya, Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, and others were arrested.
Over 50 leaders and key figures have since been taken into police custody. Many are now released on bail. But the three key leaders remain in prison.
On 15 October, the police arrested activists Bunkueanun Paotong and Eakkachai Hongsuwan and charged them with Article 110, which carries 16 years to life for committing or attempting to commit violence against the queen and the heir apparent.
Later on, Active Youth group coordinator Suranat Paenprasert was also arrested and charged for the same crime.
On 16 October, thousands gathered at the Pathumwan Intersection. With a five-minute warning, police from the Border Patrol Division in full riot gear and water cannon truck, with water laced in chemicals, cracked down on the protestors.
On 20 October, Thitiwat Tanagaroon, a 49-year-old restaurant manager, stood at the foot of a BTS station, raising the portrait of King Rama 9.
On 21 October, Khana Ratsadon marched from the Victory Monument to Government House to submit a resignation letter for General Prayut and gave him three days to resign.
On 23 October, Thitiwat was front-row at the royal walkabout in front of the Grand Palace.
First, the queen recognized him. Then, walking up to Thitiwat, the king patted the shoulder of the man crawling at his feet and said, “Very brave, very brave, very good, thank you.” Thitiwat broke down in tears of gratitude.
On 24 October, General Prayut said he would not resign.
In response, Khana Ratsadon announced the 26 October march to the German Embassy, naming the event “Very Brave, Very Good,” with the footnote:
“Because we can’t talk sense with the dog, we shall talk to the dog’s owner.”