Local news

Penguin leads protest to get arrested friends freed


ANOTHER protest took place this afternoon (August 2) in front of Royal Thai Police Region 1 headquarters to call for the release of a protest leader who had been arrested earlier in the day after staging a rally to call for freeing of all those rounded up after yesterday’s “car mob” demonstration, Thai Rath newspaper said.

At around 1 p.m. when a police vehicle brought the arrested protesters from the Through the Sky group to their headquarters in Pathum Thani they ran into this demonstration participated by over 40 people and led by Mr Parit Chiwarak, or Penguin, and Mr. Natchanon Phairot, or Nat, both from Thammasat and Demonstration group.

This afternoon’s protesters, who were demanding the release Mr. Jarupat Boonpattararaksa, or Phai Dao Din, and all the others arrested after yesterday’s large “car mob” processions to pressure Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to step down, faced a unit of crowd control police in riot gear and holding shields and clubs as they protected the compound.

Penguin used a megaphone to criticise the police for attacking people while the others gathered there sprayed various symbols and messages on the ground including “let our friends go” and “don’t be the tools of tyrants.”

As a warning, police read out the Public Assembly and Disease Control acts for the demonstrators to hear.

The protest group then pushed the barbed wire fence into an irrigation canal in front of the headquarters which led to a scuffle but nothing serious occurred.

Penguin said he came today because Phai Dao Din was arrested after coming here earlier in the day with audio equipment to call for the release of the group of protesters rounded up in Nonthaburi.

Penguin added that he was not sure whether he too would be arrested but he wanted to show support for Phai Dao Din.

Altogether around 20 people have been arrested for violating the emergency decree which Penguin pointed out is a temporary declaration but seems to be lasting endlessly.


Today’s demonstration in front of Royal Thai Police Region 1 headquarters in Pathum Thani. All photos: Thai Rath

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