Down with the King: Braving Violence for Democracy

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In August 2020, Thai university students called for reform of the monarchy, breaking a longstanding taboo in a country where the King has a God-like status. A year later, despite the arrests of key leaders and hundreds of detainments, the social movement continues to burn as protesters and police clash over a war of ideas.

It all started following a 2014 coup that saw general Prayut Chan-ocha take control of the country. He then rose to Prime Minister after a disputed election in 2018. The military re-wrote the nation's constitution while the king moved to further entrench his influence and power.

Today, this youth-led movement hopes to reduce those powers while demanding the resignation of Prayut for allegedly failing the country from all directions. Their demands have resurfaced even stronger as the pandemic deteriorates.

In this episode of “Why We Protest”, VICE World News meets the frontline protestors of the Thai pro-democracy movement and the royalists who oppose them.

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