BANGKOK — Fans of South Korean pop groups are fundraising millions of baht to support the ongoing pro-democracy protests in Thailand.
Taking advantage of their prominence on social media platforms, the K-pop fanbases raised and donated about 3 million baht to the protesters for buying necessary equipment, said Intira “Sai” Charoenpura, an actress turned activist who collected donations on behalf of the movement.
“This is an incomplete list. One boom, and I was able to buy 4,000 helmets, raincoats, gloves, safety hats, and so on,” Sai wrote in a tweet.
She continued, “For the millionth time, this fanclub power is what pooyai like to underestimate. They don’t understand that doing something or loving someone isn’t done by force. But if you love something, you can’t be stopped.”
The largest donations so far have come from the fan group for Girls’ Generation, which donated 779,562 baht.
Elfs, or fans of Super Junior, raised more than 700,000 baht in less than 24 hours. Fans of Chinese actors Wang Yibo and Sean Xiao donated about 349,000 baht, while Thai Exo-Ls, or fans of the Exo K-pop group contributed 300,704 baht.
📣สรุปยอดเงินทั้ง 2 วัน(3รอบ)— WithSNSD_TH (@WithSNSD_TH) October 17, 2020
– เมื่อวาน 442,756.98 บาท
– วันนี้ 336,805.85 บาท
รวมเป็นจำนวนเงินทั้งสิ้น 779,562.83 บาท
ขอบคุณทุกท่านที่ให้ความไว้วางใจกับทางบ้านเรานะคะ แอดมินจะมาสรุปการโอนเงินและค่าใช้จ่ายทั้งหมดอีกครั้งค่ะ🙏 pic.twitter.com/2FzBPvpARW
BTS Thailand page – the band, not the skytrains – also urged K-pop fans to put an end to the tradition of buying up billboard ads on the BTS and MRT stations to support their idols. Both rail systems shut their doors during the protests over the past week, much to the frustration of the demonstrators and commuters.
“We’re calling Armys and other fancluts to stop buying ad projects with the BTS and MRT, because both inconvenienced protesters and normal citizens from getting home and putting them in danger,” the page wrote.
Fans of K-pop groups and other idol groups often pooled money to buy ads wishing their stars happy birthday on the BTS and MRT, as a show of good faith to their stars.
Large scale protests against the government continued for the fourth consecutive day on Sunday, the number swelling after an attempt by the police to crack down on a large rally attended by many students on Friday.
The demonstrators are calling for PM Prayut Chan-o-cha’s resignation, amendments to make the 2017 Constitution more democratic, and reforms of the monarchy.
Other donations by fans:
BTS Army fans: 173,744 baht.
GOT7 fans: 167,000 baht.
NCT fans: 60,000 baht
WannaOne fans: 55,000 baht
Nu’est fans: 55,000 baht
X1 fans: 41,000 baht
Day6 fans: 35,000 baht
Red Velvet fans: 30,000 baht
MonstaX fans: 27,000 baht
Woodz Fans: 27,000 baht
Fans of “Aek” Heartrocker Thai gaming streamer: 27,000 baht
Shinee fans: 22,000 baht
R1se fans: 8,000 baht
NCT fans: 7,367 baht