A PROTEST leader confirmed that rallies taking place today (Oct. 18) in three key areas of Bangkok and neighbouring Pathum Thani and Nonthaburi provinces that started late afternoon will end at 8 a.m., TV Channel 7 reported.
In Bangkok demonstrations sprung up at Victory Monument, Asoke and Bangna intersections. The Pathum Thani demonstrators gathered at Future Park Rangsit shopping mall while those at Nonthaburi at the MRT Bang Yai station.
As of 7.30 p.m. the situation was normal with there being no violent clashes.
Ms. Chonthicha Changraew, one of the protest leaders against whom an arrest warrant has not been issued, confirmed that the rallies will end at 8 p.m.
She also said that those leaders who have been arrested or face being rounded up are not worried because the youth movement has grown very quickly while being orderly and peaceful.
In her opinion the government has softened its stance with the President of the National Assembly Chuan Leekpai getting ready to call an urgent extraordinary parliamentary meeting. This means and the people’s draft constitution amendment bill could be considered.
However she added that the protesters are still insisting on all their three demands with the other two being Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his supporters step down and monarchy reforms.
At 5.45 p.m. the protesters at Victory Monument expanded their assembly area from the roundabout towards Phaya Thai road and massed beneath the BTS station.
Some of them carrying umbrellas moved upfront together with the guards to take care of the safety with hardhats and goggles also distributed.
After that Mr. Thatchaphong Kaedam used a loudspeaker to tell protesters that if the authorities move in to break up their rally then they should use the peaceful approach and gradually retreat and not clash with them.
The vanguard of the protesters holding umbrellas and passing hardhats around. Photos: TV Channel 7