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World 'A moving current': Thai protesters adopt Hong Kong tactics

09:35  20 october  2020
09:35  20 october  2020 Source:   msn.com

How Milk Tea Became an Anti-China Symbol

  How Milk Tea Became an Anti-China Symbol The Milk Tea Alliance is emblematic of the frustration many young people feel toward Beijing’s grating assertiveness in the region. “Everyone [in the alliance] is the victim of China and its authoritarianism,” Parit Chiwarak, a 22-year-old political-science student and activist who has become one of the most prominent leaders of Thailand’s protests, told me. “So there is amity by nature.” (Chiwarak is widely known as “Penguin”; he chose the distinctive nickname, he said, after the animal caught his attention during a trip to the zoo in elementary school. “I thought they were cute and fit my character.

Thai protesters have defied warnings and gathering bans to sustain their movement, which has drawn tens of thousands to the streets in recent months As images of Thai police using water cannon on unarmed protesters went viral, Hong Kong activists shared tips on how to handle such a situation.

The camaraderie between Hong Kong and Thailand protesters was on display in Bangkok on Sunday, with demonstrators chanting "return independence to Hong Kong , while raising mobile flashlights to the night sky. And much like the sea of raised hands in Hong Kong

Umbrellas as shields, secure chat groups and hand signals as warnings of a pending police crackdown -- Thailand's pro-democracy protesters have taken inspiration and lessons from their counterparts in Hong Kong.

a large crowd of people: Thailand's pro-democracy protesters have taken inspiration and lessons from their counterparts in Hong Kong © Mladen ANTONOV Thailand's pro-democracy protesters have taken inspiration and lessons from their counterparts in Hong Kong a group of people sitting on top of a ramp: Images from Bangkok over the weekend of activists in hard hats, goggles and gas masks facing off against the police were strongly reminiscent of the methods used last year by Hong Kong protesters © Mladen ANTONOV Images from Bangkok over the weekend of activists in hard hats, goggles and gas masks facing off against the police were strongly reminiscent of the methods used last year by Hong Kong protesters

Images from Bangkok over the weekend of activists in hard hats, goggles and gas masks facing off against the police were strongly reminiscent of the methods used last year by Hong Kong protesters.

Thailand’s lese majeste law: A weapon to silence dissent?

  Thailand’s lese majeste law: A weapon to silence dissent? Since the 2014 coup more than 90 people have been prosecuted under the lese majeste law and 43 have been sentenced.The continuing protests have prompted the government of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to declare a state emergency on Thursday, and order the arrest of activists and their supporters.

One Hong Kong Twitter user named Crystaljel recommended using umbrellas as shields and carrying saline water, and added: ‘Make good use of And to counter a more forceful crackdown by the police, Thai activists have also mimicked Hong Kong 's flashmob rallies and guerrilla, "be water" tactics -- a

Thai protesters have defied warnings and gathering bans to sustain their movement, which has drawn tens of thousands to the streets in recent months, demanding reforms to the government and the powerful monarchy. And to avoid surveillance and arrests, like their Hong Kong counterparts, they

And to counter a more forceful crackdown by the police, Thai activists have also mimicked Hong Kong's flashmob rallies and guerrilla, "be water" tactics -- a philosophy attributed to martial arts hero Bruce Lee.

"Now we're like a fast-moving current that's ready to change direction at any minute," said Panumas "James" Singprom, co-founder of Free Youth, one of the Thai movement's main groups.

a large crowd of people: Thai pro-democracy protesters have defied warnings and gathering bans to sustain their movement, which has drawn tens of thousands to the streets in recent months © Mladen ANTONOV Thai pro-democracy protesters have defied warnings and gathering bans to sustain their movement, which has drawn tens of thousands to the streets in recent months

"The state has pressured us to adapt fast."

Thai protesters have defied warnings and gathering bans to sustain their movement, which has drawn tens of thousands to the streets in recent months, demanding reforms to the government and the powerful monarchy.

Thailand’s protest movement gains momentum amid a government crackdown

  Thailand’s protest movement gains momentum amid a government crackdown Thai protesters defied a ban on large gatherings to call for the prime minister’s resignation.Protests against the prime minister began in March this year, following the dissolution of a popular pro-democracy party, but have dramatically increased in size this week, with crowds numbering in the tens of thousands.

The camaraderie between Hong Kong and Thailand protesters was on display in Bangkok on Sunday, with demonstrators chanting "return As images of Thai police using water cannon on unarmed protesters went viral, Hong Kong activists shared tips on how to handle such a situation.

Thailand ’s activists are increasingly adopting methods used last year by demonstrators in Hong Kong . Thai democracy activists are increasingly adopting tactics used by their counterparts in Hong Kong , as they defy a ban on gatherings after months of mounting protests targeting the prime

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: The images from the Thailand protests are strongly reminiscent of last year's Hong Kong movement © Mladen ANTONOV The images from the Thailand protests are strongly reminiscent of last year's Hong Kong movement

And to avoid surveillance and arrests, like their Hong Kong counterparts, they have relied on encrypted messaging services such as Telegram to coordinate protests -- only receiving the planned locations an hour before each rally.

a group of people performing on stage in front of a crowd: Like their counterparts in Hong Kong, Thailand's pro-democracy protesters have also had to face police water cannon © Mladen ANTONOV Like their counterparts in Hong Kong, Thailand's pro-democracy protesters have also had to face police water cannon

While the Thai movement has seen some prominent faces emerge, ongoing arrests have forced protesters to replicate another Hong Kong movement feature -- organising with no obvious leaders, and using hashtags to spread their message.

The majority turning up for the daily protests are "self-organised", said James.

- 'Milk Tea Alliance' -


Video: Hong Kong activists front up to Thai consulate in protest support (AFP)

Thai democracy protesters defy ban for fourth day

  Thai democracy protesters defy ban for fourth day Tens of thousands of protesters defied a ban on gatherings of more than four people to mass at a major Bangkok landmark Sunday, carrying posters portraying activists detained in four straight days of strident anti-government rallies. The youth-led movement has suffered several blows this week, with scores arrested after demonstrators surrounded a royal motorcade and flashed "democracy salutes" at Queen Suthida. The government reacted withThe youth-led movement has suffered several blows this week, with scores arrested after demonstrators surrounded a royal motorcade and flashed "democracy salutes" at Queen Suthida.

WATCH: Activists in hard hats, umbrellas as shields, and gas masks facing off against the police— Thailand 's pro-democracy protesters have taken inspiration and lessons from their counterparts in Hong Kong .

The statement, repeated at several rallies last week, was a daring move in a country where strict “lese-majeste” laws against insulting or defaming the king can be Prayuth Chan-ocha, the prime minister, who first took power in a 2014 coup, admonished the mainly student protesters for going too far.

The camaraderie between Hong Kong and Thailand protesters was on display in Bangkok on Sunday, with demonstrators chanting "return independence to Hong Kong, while raising mobile flashlights to the night sky.

And much like the sea of raised hands in Hong Kong -- signifying the protesters' five demands -- Thai rallies have seen waves of three-finger salutes borrowed from the Hunger Games movies.

Advice and support have poured in from young activists in Hong Kong and Taiwan -- dubbed the "Milk Tea Alliance" on social media because of the popularity of the drink in all three places.

As images of Thai police using water cannon on unarmed protesters went viral, Hong Kong activists shared tips on how to handle such a situation.

One Hong Kong Twitter user named Crystaljel recommended using umbrellas as shields and carrying saline water, and added: "Make good use of your talent and courage."

The so-called "umbrella formation" ubiquitous during the Hong Kong protests was employed Friday night in Bangkok's central shopping district.

Young and restless: Protest parallels in Thailand and Hong Kong

  Young and restless: Protest parallels in Thailand and Hong Kong Hong Kong and Thailand have both seen their streets filled with protesters daring to take on an entrenched political elite, and to discuss once-taboo subjects in their push for greater freedoms. Analyst Voranai said Thai protesters are currently "much less radical than their Hong Kong counterparts".Voranai Vanijaka, a political analyst at Bangkok's Thammasat University, said tech-savvy youths in both territories have "shared cultural values".

Passing dozens of colourful umbrellas to those on the frontline, they attempted to create a human defence wall as riot police bore down on them.

Protesters also formed human chains during the Sunday protest to pass messages and supplies -- including hard hats, goggles and water -- to those lacking protection.

This "telephone" system also enabled dense crowds to part quickly for ambulances trying to reach nearby hospitals.

Hand signals borrowed from creative Hong Kongers were also on display as young Thais practised crossing their arms to denote impending danger.

- 'More coups than meals' -

Much like the so-called "braves" in Hong Kong, Thailand also saw groups of self-appointed frontline protesters over the weekend, who moved forward in the crowd when rumours emerged of a crackdown.

"I want to do more than just participate in the protest," said a 23-year-old university student, asking not to be named.

"This is the time to step up and protect our friends."

Despite the similarities, however, Hong Kong has not seen deadly state crackdowns of the kind Thailand has witnessed in the past against democracy movements.

One user on Hong Kong's Reddit-like forum, LIHKG, quipped it was unnecessary for Hong Kong to teach Thais how to protest.

"They had more coups than you've had meals," he wrote.

"When they used grenades in 2014, you were still singing protest songs."

burs-dhc/rs/qan

Hong Kong activist detained near US embassy .
Tony Chung was at a coffee shop near the US embassy when he was carried out by plain-clothed officers.Tony Chung had planned to enter the embassy on Tuesday and claim asylum, the UK-based activist group Friends of Hong Kong said.

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