MORE people were flocking to join the demonstration in front of Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) head office at nightfall today (Nov. 25) as People’s Party leaders took turns giving speeches atop a vehicle fitted with amplifiers, Thai Rath newspaper reported .
Some motorcyclists passing by also stopped to listen to the speeches and gave the three-finger salute.
It was noted that the atmosphere at this rally is up to this point quite normal.
People’s Party volunteer guards closed outbound side of Ratchadapisek road in front of this bank’s head office paralysing traffic from Ratchayothin intersection to Vibhavadi Rangsit road intersection.
These guards had also put up metal fences around the protest area and were checking the demonstrators’ bags.
At 5.15 p.m. Ms. Panusaya Sitthichirawattanakul, or Rung, told the demonstrators that the rally venue was changed to ensure the safety of the participants because this assembly was attracting more people than usual.
She confirmed their three demands, that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his group resign; the people’s draft constitution amendment be accepted; and monarchy reform. There were also 10 requirements for budget reform.
She invited all those with knowledge on these subjects to address the rally which is expected to end at 10 p.m.
When the next gathering will take place will be announced when this rally ends, she added.
Meanwhile three other protest leaders, Mr. Parit Chivarak, or Penguin, Mr. Panupong Chadnok, or Mike Rayong, and Mr. Shinawatra Chankrachang, or Bright, were also at this protest, Siam Rath newspaper reported.
Penguin, who is facing eight cases under Section 112 of the Criminal Code, known as the lese majeste law, said the authorities are trying to capture the protest leaders and leave followers without anyone to guide them. However he pointed out this has not affected the movement with many more people now joining the rallies.
He added that prosecution under Section 112 shows that the archaic system still exists and using it only discredits the country.
Mike said that the protest leaders changed their rally site from Crown Property Bureau to SCB head office after assessing that authorities blocked the route to create conditions for a coup d’etat.
The protest leaders also wanted to ensure the safety of the demonstrators and did not want the movement to end in bloodshed with the goal being to reach the finish line gracefully and in a true democratic manner.
The atmosphere of the protest in front of the SCB head office this evening. Photos: Thai Rath