A GROUP of demonstrators from the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration showed up at the Criminal Court on Ratchadapisek road at 4 p.m. today (March 9) as arranged and with all dressed in black to mourn perceived injustice in not permitting four protest leaders to be bailed out yesterday, Siam Rath newspaper said.
Three of the four detained protest leaders are Ms. Panusaya Sitthichirawattanakul, or Rung, Mr. Panupong Chadnok, or Mike, and Mr. Jarupat Boonpattararaksa, or Phai Dao Din, who are facing a string of charges over the September 19-20, 2020 demonstration at Sanam Luang including one on Section 112 of the Criminal Code, known as the lese majeste law.
Meanwhile We Volunteer (WeVo) guard leader Mr. Piyarat Chongthep, or Toto, and four others were also detained on Saturday March 6 after police found slingshots and iron balls in their vehicle parked at a shopping mall just as a big demonstration got underway in front of the Criminal Court.
A company of crowd control policemen was guarding the criminal court today and they had brought along a water cannon truck as well as two big prison vans in case they were needed. Policemen from Phaholyothin station were in front of the court.
At 4.10 p.m. policemen closed the court’s gate and put a chain lock on it to prevent unauthorized entry.
However the demonstrators continued with their activity, placing a wreath and white flowers at the gate and tying white ribbon on it too to make it clear that they are mourning the perceived injustice over the detention of their friends with a verdict not having been given in the cases they are facing.
They also questioned why the police were there in full force and also brought in a water cannon truck when they had only come to place flowers.
Pol. Col. Prasopchok Iampinit, head of the Phaholyothin station, read out a court notice that people are prohibited from climbing the fence, giving speeches to incite disturbance in the area around the court, even tying a ribbon on the court fence is considered an offence. Moreover this activity is in violation of the emergency decree and police officers are required to take action.
However the demonstrators just ignored him and continued with the activities. They later wrote their thoughts the feelings on sheets of white paper which they pasted at the same spot.
They said no speeches are being given at this event as this is a symbolic expression.
Protesters dressed in black conducting their activities in front of the Criminal Court today. Photos: Siam Rath