K-pop appeared at an anti-government rally in Thailand demanding Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's resignation and reformation of the monarchy. Girls' Generation's "Into the New World" resonated at the rally site. Also, K-pop fan clubs collected donations of approximately 3 million Thai baht (~96,062 USD).
Recently, thousands and tens of thousands of people have gathered in downtown Bangkok to protest for more than five days, calling for a revision of the military-established constitution, the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, and the reformation of the monarchy. Authorities issued an emergency decree on October 15th, including a ban on political gatherings of more than five people. However, protesters continued to rally everywhere.
Among them, a video clip posted on social media on October 18th drew keen attention. In downtown Bangkok, participants were seen dancing to Girls' Generation's "Into the New World" in masks and singing along together. The video was shared with nearly 400,000 views as of the 20th.
A college student attending the anti-government demonstration said in an online interview with Asia Today, "I saw the video. I wasn't at the video's location, but I sometimes play 'Into the New World' by Girls' Generation and sing together during the demonstration through the video. I understand that this song was sung against the police during a candlelight protest in Korea in 2017 to demand the president's resignation. I was also told this song is sung during other protests by the LGBT, feminism, sexual minorities as well as the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement."
Another college student also said, "I don't know Korean very well, but I know the meaning well because other K-pop-loving friends translated the lyrics. Other people who participate in the rally also feel that it has a special meaning."
Girls' Generation's "Into the New World" began to be known as the song to fight against the police in 2016 when Ewha Women's University's student council staged a sit-in protest at the main building. Since then, it has been sung in various places in major rallies such as candlelight vigils in 2017, replacing traditional protest songs, which have also been sung in Korea and now in Thailand.
Following the appearance of K-pop at the rally, K-pop fan clubs also collected donations and delivered them. According to a local media outlet, K-pop fan clubs collected and delivered about 3 million Thai baht (~96,062 USD) of donations. Girls' Generation's fan club has collected the most donations with about 780,000 baht (~24,976 USD). Elf, a fan club of Super Junior, made headlines by collecting 700,000 baht (~22,414 USD) in less than 24 hours. Fan clubs of famous K-pop groups such as BTS, EXO, GOT7, NCT, NU'EST, and MONSTA X also donated a significant amount of money.