A protester performs on a red carpet while taking part in a demonstration against the government in Bangkok on Thursday. AP
Thousands of pro-democracy protesters in Thailand returned on Thursday to the capital’s business district, staging something akin to a street fair to bring attention to their contention that the country’s monarchy holds too much power and influence.
People take photos as a protester walks on the red carpet in Bangkok. AFP
Their rally on the city’s Silom Road was billed as a counterpoint to a fashion show being held on Thursday evening by Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana, a daughter of King Maha Vajiralongkorn.
The princess is a fashion designer and has several shops at malls and shopping arcades in Bangkok selling her luxury goods.
A large crowd that gathered after working hours took over a portion of the street, looking at a displays of artwork and posters, serious and satirical, and listening to mostly impromptu speeches.
Protesters walk on the red carpet during a demonstration in Bangkok. AFP
Sarcasm and satire have played a major role in recent protests, as was the case again on Thursday as a red carpet was unrolled on the street to serve as a fashion runway for men and women to vamp in front of an amused crowd, often making fun of the king's gestures and appearance.
The student-led protesters have been holding rallies almost every day, attracting crowds on short notice that sometimes exceed 10,000.
They want Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to step down, the constitution to be amended to make it more democratic, and reforms to make the monarchy’s activities more transparent and accountable.
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