Local news

Protest moved to Pathumwan intersection amid tight control

 

PROTESTERS from various activist groups including representatives of one from Chiang Mai moved their demonstration from Democracy Monument to Pathumwan intersection after police had closed all the routes to the planned gathering site, Matichon newspaper said this afternoon (Nov. 14).

At 3 p.m. the protesters sprayed a message, “This country belongs to the people”, on one of the roads at this intersection.

They had also tied a fabric banner on the skywalk with the message. “We are the representatives of the future, and we’ll never surrender.”

The groups launching today’s rally include United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration, Talu Fah, Democracy Restoration, People’s Army, Salaya for Democracy, Supporter Thailand, We Volunteer and People’s Constitutional Campaign.

Representatives of the Chiang Mai branch of United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship arrived in a pickup truck and parked by the roadside of this intersection. They  waved flags with a symbol of People’s Party 2020 plaque and gave the three-finger salute.

It was 1.44 p.m. when the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration announced on Facebook that the rally venue had been moved to Pathumwan intersection.

However by then some demonstrators had already managed to reach Democracy Monument and they then headed to the new venue either on pickup trucks, motorcycles or on foot. During the march to the intersection this group of demonstrators loudly shouted, “I am here too”, while also periodically scolding the police.

At 2.30 p.m. as they passed through Mahanak market they urged the vendors to either join the protest or take their goods to sell there. An elderly man, who said he was almost a hundred years old, said he would do so.

As demonstrators started gathering at the intersection, stalls cropped up in front of the art gallery selling products such as stickers and headbands with democracy symbols as well as gas masks.

At 3.15 p.m. Mr. Chokdee, or Alek Chokrompruek, a member of the Songwriters for the People group, played the song  “We are friends” to loud applause from the participants. At this point the Thalu Gas activists had arrived on their motorcycles.

Later when Pathumwan police station officers walked in to read an announcement the protesters shouted, “Get out, get out,” but the protest guards then stepped in to hold talks and prevent a confrontation.

CAPTION:

Scenes from this afternoon’s protest at Pathumwan intersection. Photos: Matichon

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