World Thai protesters challenge monarchy with symbolic plaque
'Tactical parade' rides across Utah town waving guns and flags for Constitution Day
A "tactical parade" featuring plenty of guns and "Trump 2020" gear rode through St. George Thursday as part of a Constitution Day event.Some 75 vehicles participated in the parade, which was organized by the same right-wing group that led an anti-mask rally outside a school district building several weeks ago that led to international attention over a viral video that drew jokes from Jimmy Kimmel and others.
By Patpicha Tanakasempipat and Matthew Tostevin
BANGKOK (Reuters) - In a challenge to the monarchy of Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn, protesters on Sunday cemented a plaque in the field next to the Grand Palace in Bangkok that declares Thailand belongs to the people and not to him.
What's behind Thailand's protests and what comes next?
A pro-democracy movement led by student groups has gathered pace across Thailand for the last couple of months, with some activists openly calling for reforms of the kingdom's unassailable monarchy. Historians -- and even the student leaders themselves -- have raised the spectre of a previous student-led movement. That ended in October 1976 in what became known as the Thammasat University massacre.Students protesting against the return of a military dictator were shot, beaten to death and lynched by state forces and royalist mobs.
Protests that have been growing in the southeast Asian country since July have broken a long-standing taboo by criticising the monarchy as well as seeking to oust the government and bring in a new constitution and elections.
The plaque was cemented in the area known as Sanam Luang - Royal Field - shortly after sunrise. It reads "At this place the people have expressed their will: that this country belongs to the people and is not the property of the monarch as they have deceived us."
The Royal Palace was not immediately available for comment.
Petition Against Replacing Ginsburg Until Election Gets More Than 475K Signatures in Under a Day
The petition, created late Friday night, asks the U.S. Senate not to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with under 50 days left to the election."Ruth Bader Ginsburg's dying wish was that her Supreme Court seat not be filled until a new president was installed. She was a champion for gender equality, among other issues rooted in fairness and justice for all. With less than 50 days until the election and voting already underway in many states, it's important that we demand all senators pledge not to move forward with any nominee until after the next inauguration," MoveOn.org said in its petition.
Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said police would not use violence against protesters and it was up to them to determine and prosecute any illegal speech. Police were not immediately available for comment.
Protesters Gather Outside Mitch McConnell's Home to Decry Move to Fill Supreme Court Seat: 'Ruth Sent Us'
Protesters lined the streets in front of the senator's home in Louisville, Kentucky, after he vowed to call a vote for President Donald Trump's nominee following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.Democrats have accused Republicans of hypocrisy, saying they should follow the precedent set by GOP legislators in 2016 when they refused to consider President Barack Obama's nominee Merrick Garland in the run-up to the 2016 election.
At the biggest demonstration in years on Sunday, tens of thousands of protesters cheered calls for reform of the monarchy as well as for the removal of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former junta leader.
"The nation belongs to no one person but to all of us," one of the protest leaders, Parit "Penguin" Chiwarak, announced at the ceremony for installing the plaque. "Down with feudalism, long live the people."
Police have held back from the protest and made no attempt to intervene.
Protesters have said they will march from the scene of the ceremony at 8 a.m. (0100 GMT).
Thai protesters’ plaque removed from near palace - police
Thai protesters’ plaque removed from near palace - policeThe plaque was placed on Sunday after a weekend rally by tens of thousands of people who cheered calls for reforms to the monarchy of King Maha Vajiralongkorn.
The plaque resembles one removed without explanation from outside one of the royal palaces in 2017, after Vajiralongkorn took the throne. That plaque, which had commemorated the end of absolute monarchy in 1932, was replaced by one with a pro-monarchist slogan.
(Additional reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat; Editing by Chris Reese)
Video: Thai protest targets government and monarchy (Reuters)
Dacre, Moore Have Strengths for U.K. Media Roles, Dowden Says .
U.K. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said both former Daily Telegraph Editor Charles Moore and former Daily Mail Editor Paul Dacre have their strengths as he prepares to recruit key chiefs for the BBC and the broadcasting regulator, Ofcom. Dowden’s remarks came after the U.K. weekend papers were filled with speculation over who will lead the British Broadcasting Corp. and Ofcom. The Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph, Observer and Mail on Sunday all reported that Dacre is Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s favored candidate for Ofcom, with Moore tipped for the BBC job.