Pro-democracy protesters confront police in Bangkok this afternoon

PHOTO: iLaw

Bangkok –

Pro-democracy demonstrators under the “Thalu Fah” movement that have now gathered for three consecutive days met once again today at Ratchaprasong Intersection of Bangkok at 3:00 P.M. before marching to the Royal Thai Police Headquarters.

The protesters specifically said that today’s protest was aimed at police, and not the Thai Prime Minister as with other recent protests, over what protesters say are overly harsh crackdowns on protest groups recently.

The march began at around 4:04 PM. when the group of protesters were seen raising pictures of what they called aggressive dispersal tactics and slogans to demand the riot police to stop attacking civilians and being subordinates to the Prime Minister, who they referred to as a dictator.

Upon arrival at the Royal Thai Police headquarters, the protest frontliners began throwing bags of pink paint at the entrance. A water cannon truck stationed at the gate reportedly immediately fired at the protesters. Protesters attempted to fight back by throwing water bottles and more buckets of paint.

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PHOTO: iLaw

After a short period of escalating confrontation, the Thalu Fah protest organizer had called off the demonstration at 4:40 PM. A heavy crowd of police was seen heading out from the headquarters and surrounding some of the protest frontliners. Some managed to flee to the Ratchaprasong Intersection. A female protester was reportedly arrested at the HQ. The police force then began to march to the intersection to block the roads and capture the remaining protesters despite a heavy rain shower.

As of 5:17 PM., the remaining protesters continued gathering in front of the Gayson Department Store at the intersection. They were seen singing and dancing on the road, showing that the gathering was done non-violently and peacefully at all times. Nevertheless, the crowd control police shortly approached the group and captured one of the protesters. His exact crime was not immediately clear, although police have continued to state that all gatherings of more than five people, as well as any type of rally, protest, or assembly, are currently illegal under Emergency Decree laws. Police claim this is to fight Covid-19 and have nothing to do with politics, but protesters have regularly disagreed.

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PHOTO: iLaw

Meanwhile, at the Sam Liam Din Daeng junction, a small group of independent protesters gathered under the Din Daeng tollway at around 4:50 PM. They reportedly started throwing firecrackers at cargo containers set up by Royal Thai police on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road.

The intersection has been a flashpoint of activity and confrontation between protesters and law enforcement over the last week, as you can read about by clicking here.

As of 5:14 PM., a large group of riot police arrived at the site and began firing tear gas at the protesters to control the situation while the protesters reportedly continued throwing solid objects and firecrackers back. The dispersal was halted due to increasingly heavy rain.

The remaining protesters, around 20 people, reportedly escaped the site as soon as the rain stopped and the police managed to take control of the situation at around 6:02 PM.

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PHOTO: Ittipat Pinrarod

However, rubber bullets and tear gas were fired again after a small group of hardline protesters continued gathering in front of Din Daeng Flat as of 6:52 PM. The confrontation ended not long later, marking a shorter, less violent confrontation than many of the other recent protests. A mandatory curfew is currently in place in Bangkok and 28 other provinces from 9:00 P.M. to 4:00 A.M. and the situation was brought under control around curfew time, which was much earlier than prior nights in which confrontations ran well into the curfew period.

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National News Writer at The Pattaya News. Born and raised in Bangkok, Nop enjoys telling stories of her hometown through her words and pictures. Her educational experience in the United States and her passion for journalism have shaped her genuine interests in society, politics, education, culture, and art.