The protest, which began at about 5:30pm, was held by the "Phuket Liberation" youth group, with many protesters holding placards criticising the government’s rule of the country, claiming that a “dictator” was ignoring the democratic rights of citizens.
Many of the protesters carried placards featuring messages such as “Wake up Phuket”, “Sovereignty belongs to the people” and “Can’t democracy comment?”, as well as many featuring a photo of Wanchalerm Satsaksit, the Thai pro-democracy activist who fled Thailand after the 2014 coup who was last seen being abducted by armed men outside a condo where he was staying home in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on June 4.
The Wanchalerm posters were also labeled, “Cause of disappearance: abducted by the state”.
Rally leader Chuchawet Diddarak said the gathering was held to exercise the constitutional right of association for citizens exercising civil rights under the constitution to provide a forum for Phuket people to voice their demands, which he listed as: “1. The dissolution of the House must be announced. 2. Draft a new constitution or amend the constitution 3. End the threat to the people”
“The new constitution must be amended, the government must release the power to Phuket province, to be self-managed by tourism organizations and able to empower for full ability,” Mr Chuchawet also said.
He also called for more people to exercise their right to gather to voice their opinion.
“Democracy has to be open, people must have areas where young people can voice their opinions. Young people need to know that they can voice their demands, this is a democratic right. Not just follow the rules given by one established leader.
“Everyone here has come together to demand their democratic rights,” he said.
Military police were present at the rally, but the protest concluded peacefully.
However, one man on a saleng (motorbike with sidecar) arrived and started shouting angrily at the protesters, but was escorted away from the rally by military security personnel.
Additional reporting by Tanyaluk Sakoot