Thai anti-government activists plan to rally Wednesday outside one of the country’s largest banks of which King Maha Vajiralongkorn is the biggest shareholder, in the latest show of defiance to the monarch.
The protesters had shifted from earlier plans to protest at the office of the Crown Property Bureau, the agency that manages the monarchy’s assets, after reports that there would be a heavy police presence as well as a counter-rally of soldiers and royalists at the site.
The Free Youth protest group announced the change of plan on its Facebook page late Tuesday, which instructed protesters to gather at the headquarters of Siam Commercial Bank on Wednesday afternoon, instead of at Bangkok’s Democracy Monument for a march to the office of the Crown Property Bureau.
“BREAKING: #November25rally changes to the headquarters of SCB to avoid clashing with the organized mob and so as to not follow the game of tyrants! Together, at 15.00 hrs, join in reclaiming assets that should belong to the people,” Free Youth’s Facebook post said.
Police mobilized dozens of vehicles to the bank’s headquarters on Wednesday following the protesters’ announcement.
Police said on Tuesday that around 6,000 officers would be deployed to the Crown Property Bureau’s office to ensure protesters do not get near it.
Anti-government demonstrations have taken place almost daily since July with protesters repeatedly calling for a new government, a new constitution, and reform of the monarchy to be more democratic and transparent with its finances.
King Vajiralongkorn is reportedly the world’s richest monarch.