AFTER being hit with tear gas sprayed together with water and several rounds of dye-mixed water cannons the protesters at Pathumwan intersection called off their rally after first trying to withdraw to adjacent Chulalongkorn University campus, Sanook.com reported this evening (October 16, 2020).
The timeline of the heavy-handed police action is as follows:
– At 8.45 p.m. Police fired more rounds of water cannons near BTS National Stadium station in front of MBK shopping mall where some protesters had gathered.
– At 8:30 p.m. Police sprayed volleys of water at protest lines and they retreated to BTS Ratchathewi station.
– At 8.13 p.m. Police seize the area around Pathumwan intersection but continue spraying water. Protesters moved towards Phaya Thai road side, on the way to Ratchathewi station where around 100 men in yellow shirts had gathered.
– At 8:00 p.m. Water cannons are fired onto the skywalk. The protest leaders announced an end to their rally with a new one to be fixed later. The police announced over loud speakers that everyone should go home.
– At 7:55 p.m. Police tried to clear the area. They told the reporters to leave the skywalk while spraying it with powerful jets of water periodically The protesters began to retreat to the national stadium.
– At 7.47 p.m. The police shield line approaches the protesters. There is another round of spraying water. The demonstrators retaliated by throwing water bottles at them.
– At 7:45 p.m. The police stop firing water cannons and their shield line slowly approaches the protesters at Pathumwan intersection. The volunteer guards shouted to the protesters to retreat.
– At 7:40 p.m. Police fire another round of tear gas together with water at protesters. They used umbrellas to shield themselves. Reporters in the area said it was pungent and stung. Many people suffocated.
– At 7.10 p.m. It was reported that the police had started spraying tear gas together water at the protesters. The demonstrators started moving from the Pathumwan intersection to Chulalongkorn University.
– At 6.50 p.m. Police tightened their control of the protest area and moved towards the protesters. High-pressure dye-mixed water cannons were fired at them to break up the demonstration.
Before the police action the protesters had taken over the area around the intersection and were sitting down on the road as told by their leaders amid continuous rain.
However the crowd control units moved to seize the area and warned the demonstrators that they are violating the emergency decree. They then fired jets of water mixed with a dye at them with the protesters using umbrellas to protect themselves and some of them tried to pull off the police helmets and take their shields from them.
Protesters hit by strong jets of water cannons and tear gas. Photos: Sanook.com