Thai protesters call for removal of prime minister

Thousands of people protested in Bangkok on Saturday (November 14) in the latest anti-government demonstrations that have also called for reforms to Thailand's powerful monarchy.

The protests began in July, seeking to remove Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former junta leader.

On Saturday, the police said some 2,500 protesters gathered at Democracy Monument in the city, putting on songs and dances mocking the government.

Police said they would not use violence to crackdown on demonstrators. But deployed 5,100 troops to maintain order.

About a mile away, thousands of royalists gathered in yellow shirts and waved Thai flags as they waited to greet King Maha Vajiralongkorn, who was expected to attend the opening ceremony of a subway station.

Protesters said they would turn their backs when the Royal Motorcade passed.

This is prominent protest leader "Rung":

"I want to tell the government to not underestimate the people, don't underestimate our power. You exist because of the people. Without the people, both the government and the monarchy will have no power. Don't just look at us as just the dust under people's feet. We are human, we have power, we have our own thoughts. Sovereignty belongs to everyone, not just one person."

The Royal Palace was not available for comment.

It has not commented since the start of the demonstrations, but the king said two weeks ago that the protesters were still loved and that Thailand was a land of compromise.

Video Transcript

- [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

- Thousands of people protested in Bangkok on Saturday in the latest government demonstrations that have also called for reforms to Thailand's powerful monarchy. The protests began in July, seeking to remove Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former junta leader. On Saturday, the police said some 2,500 protesters gathered at Democracy Monument in the city, putting on songs and dances mocking the government. Police said they would not use violence to crack down on demonstrators but deployed 5,100 troops to maintain order.

About a mile away, thousands of royalists gathered in yellow shirts and waved Thai flags as they waited to greet King Maha Vajiralongkorn, who was expected to attend the opening ceremony of a subway station. Protesters said they would turn their backs when the royal motorcade passed. This is prominent protest leader Rung.

PANUSAYA "RUNG" SITHIJIRAWATTANAKUL: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: I want to tell the government to not underestimate the people. Don't underestimate our power. You exist because of the people. Without the people, both the government and the monarchy will have no power.

PANUSAYA "RUNG" SITHIJIRAWATTANAKUL: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: Don't just look at us as the dust under people's feet. We are human. We have power. We have our own thoughts. Sovereignty belongs to everyone, not just one person.

PANUSAYA "RUNG" SITHIJIRAWATTANAKUL: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

- The royal palace was not available for comment. It has not commented since the start of the demonstrations. But the king said two weeks ago that the protesters were still loved and that Thailand was [? a ?] land of compromise.