The booklet’s publishers, the Democracy Restoration Group (DRG) campaign, announced yesterday that it would be given away at a REDEM protest rally at Sanam Luang this evening, and many copies were distributed there despite the police seizure. (Arnon had previously distributed small quantities of the booklet last year.) Riot police used water cannon, tear gas, and rubber bullets to disperse the protesters, as they had on 28th February.
Today’s police raid has echoes of an almost identical case last year, when an announcement that a similar booklet would be given away at a protest drew the attention of the authorities. That booklet—ปรากฏการณ์สะท้านฟ้า 10 สิงหา (‘an earth-shattering event on 10th August’)—was also seized by police before the rally, though some copies were eventually distributed.
This year, the DRG also distributed a larger booklet, ปฏิรูปสถาบันกษัตริย์ ยืนหยัดในประชาธิปไตย (‘reform the monarchy, persevere for democracy’), which summarises the campaign’s objectives. The booklet explains the DRG’s grievances related to the government’s mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic, though controversially it also reproduces a report by the UK news website The Independent about King Rama X’s lifestyle in Germany.