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Police crack down on protesters

BANGKOK: Police launched tough operations, including firing tear gas, rubber bullets and a water cannon on anti-government protesters during hours of clashes yesterday (Aug 7).

CoronavirusCOVID-19policeviolence
By Bangkok Post

Sunday 8 August 2021, 10:48AM


Flares are launched near police during the confrontation between a water cannon truck and protesters near Din Daeng intersection. Photo: Bangkok Post

Flares are launched near police during the confrontation between a water cannon truck and protesters near Din Daeng intersection. Photo: Bangkok Post

Police insists their opertions were based on international standards and the operations came after protesters flouted police warnings.

Meanwhile, protesters announced they would organise a motor rally at the Royal Thai Police Office today.

Redem (Restart Democracy) demonstrators had arranged originally to meet at Democracy Monument at 2pm yesterday, with a plan to march to the Grand Palace.

Redem has no official leaders but still has guards. Created by the Free Youth group in February, it consists of various pro-democracy groups that share common goals at any given time.

The group was looking to push three demands - Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha must resign as prime minister, the budgets for the palace and armed forces must be cut and allocated to COVID-19 relief efforts, and the “tycoon” COVID-19 vaccine must be changed to the mRNA type.

Pol Col Kritsana Pattanacharoen, deputy spokesman of the Royal Thai Police Office, said police deployed rubber bullets and tear gas to stop protesters from advancing.

The demonstrators did not retreat and threw objects including ping-pong bombs at officers, he said, adding the police operation was aimed at keeping order, not making arrests.

EPL predictions

A few hundred people arrived at the Democracy Monument around noon. Police closed the area to traffic at 12:20pm and told them to disperse. In front of the Grand Palace nearby, the usual wall of containers was seen, fortified this time with decommissioned tanker cars obtained from the State Railway of Thailand.

At 1pm, police started clearing the area. Rubber bullets were used and at least two people were arrested.

The demonstrators were pushed back to the Phan Fa Bridge. Some threw firecrackers and fired objects with catapults at police.

As the demonstrators arrived at Victory Monument and were heading for Vibhavadi Road, which leads to the army base, police blocked traffic using stacked containers and barbed wire, with crowd control police lining up behind the barriers.

Police told them to go back to Victory Monument. As some of the protesters tried to remove the containers, several tear gas canisters were fired at them at Din Daeng intersection at 3:30pm.

At 5:30pm, police pushed them further back to Victory Monument using a water cannon.

Video taken at the scene also showed tear gas and muzzle flashes - possibly from the firing of rubber bullets - being used by officers positioned on the skywalk overlooking the roundabout. They announced they would dissolve the rally at 8pm.

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JohnC | 09 August 2021 - 09:22:03

@kurt. In case you are not aware Thailand has just been further downgraded by the world organisation for human rights for further restrictions to freedom of speech and internet blockages almost as bad as China and Nth Korea. "Dear Leader" has been taking lessons from fascist states on how to try controlling the people. 

Kurt | 09 August 2021 - 08:10:24

On Saturday evening, at 19:53 hrs, during CNN world news report start of showing Bangkok protests the tv screen went grey with message:' 'Program will resume soon'. Why TrueVisions is doing such while all over other news agents just show/publish?

 

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