Muscat Daily

Pro­test­ers re­turn to streets af­ter po­lice clashes in Bangkok

- Politics · Protests · Rioting · Social Issues · Society · Bangkok · Thailand

Bangkok, Thai­land - Thou­sands of Thai pro-democ­racy pro­test­ers massed in mul­ti­ple lo­ca­tions across Bangkok on Satur­day, de­fy­ing an emer­gency de­cree ban­ning gath­er­ings for the third con­sec­u­tive day af­ter con­fronta­tions saw riot po­lice use wa­ter can­non on peace­ful de­mon­stra­tors.

Of­fi­cers dis­persed thou­sands of protestors on Fri­day night by spray­ing wa­ter laced with blue dye and a chem­i­cal agent to mark par­tic­i­pants for fu­ture le­gal ac­tion. But the es­ca­la­tion in po­lice tac­tics has not cowed the bur­geon­ing youth-led protest move­ment, which is de­mand­ing the res­ig­na­tion of a premier first brought to power in a mil­i­tary coup and re­form of the king­dom’s pow­er­ful monar­chy.

One of the pro-democ­racy move­ment’s main or­gan­is­ing groups called on its sup­port­ers to re­turn to the streets on Satur­day af­ter­noon.

“Be pre­pared both phys­i­cally and men­tally for the demon­stra­tion and to cope with a crack­down if it hap­pens,” the online post from Free Youth said.

An hour be­fore the sched­uled 4.00pm protest start, the group an­nounced three dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions for ral­lies - out­smart­ing au­thor­i­ties that had closed roads to two suspected venues that ended up not be­ing the meet­ing points.

In the city’s north­ern Lat Phrao district, hun­dreds gath­ered in the middle of a street with hel­mets and gas masks ready, rais­ing a three-fin­ger salute adopted from the Hunger Games films as a sym­bol by the prodemoc­racy move­ment.

Across the Chao Phraya river, nearly a thou­sand ral­lied in the west­ern Wong­wian Yai district chant­ing ‘Long live the peo­ple, down with dic­ta­tor­ship!’, while in south­east­ern Udom­suk a sim­i­lar show of force brought busy traf­fic to a stand­still.

Op­er­a­tors of both the Sky­train and un­der­ground rail net­works had shut down ser­vices city­wide to pre­vent pro­test­ers from join­ing. Prime Min­is­ter Prayut Chan-O-Cha ex­tended an emer­gency de­cree ban­ning gath­er­ings of more than four peo­ple by an­other month on Fri­day.

 ?? (AFP) ?? Pro-democ­racy pro­test­ers rally at Udom­suk as they con­tinue to defy an emer­gency de­cree ban­ning gath­er­ings, in Bangkok on Satur­day
(AFP) Pro-democ­racy pro­test­ers rally at Udom­suk as they con­tinue to defy an emer­gency de­cree ban­ning gath­er­ings, in Bangkok on Satur­day

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