BANGKOK — As the No. 59 bus hurtled down Ratchadamnoen Klang road in Bangkok’s Old Town, its passengers diverted their attention from the intense midday heat to a small crowd on the concrete below. About 25 people were marching and chanting, photographers scuttling in front of them.
The protesters were calling for the release of imprisoned political activists. Some were giving the three-finger salute that has become a symbol of resistance in protests across Asia. A yellow sign displayed the number 112 struck through in red, reflecting demands for the repeal of Section 112 of the Thai criminal code, also known as the lese-majeste law, which bars criticism of Thailand’s monarchy and carries a maximum 15-year prison sentence.