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Phuket News: Protesters move in early for Bangkok shutdown

BANGKOK: Anti-government protesters began their Bangkok shutdown at several locations late Sunday afternoon ahead of the planned Monday operation, prompting bus services to be rerouted swiftly as police set up service points near the seven protest sites.


By Bangkok Post

Monday 13 January 2014, 09:17AM


Graphic: Bangkok Post.

Graphic: Bangkok Post.

The People's Democratic Reform Committee protesters began blocking traffic and setting up stages at Pathumwan intersection, Lat Phrao intersection, Chaeng Wattana Road and Victory Monument before 8pm Sunday. More roads around Lat Phrao were closed after midnight.

The protesters started their Bangkok shutdown at Chaeng Wattana Road where the Government Complex is situated at about 4pm. By 6pm, both inbound and outbound lanes of the road were completely closed for traffic from Laksi intersection to the Government Complex to Khlong Prapa intersection after the protesters blocked the roads with sandbags and barriers. 

Shortly after the stoppage on Chaeng Wattana Road, two separate groups of protesters blocked traffic at Lat Phrao five-way intersection by setting up a stage on Phahon Yothin road in front of Chatuchak market and Pathumwan intersection which will be used as main rally venues. 

At Victory Monument, protesters began to move in at around 7pm. 

The four locations are among seven that will be used as central rally venues by the PDRC. The four other venues are Lumpini, Ratchaprasong and Asok. 

Reports said Pathumwan intersection and the nearby skywalk and inbound and outbound lanes in front of MBK shopping centre have been closed. Some people complained on their Facebook pages about the unexpected closure of traffic in the Pathumwan area.  

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As the protesters have moved into their marked locations ahead of the planned Bangkok shutdown, the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority decided to reroute many of its bus services and started to use the expressway to deliver passengers at major spots with the possibility of connection to other modes of transport such as the BTS skytrain and the MRT underground service.

Assistant national police chief Pol Lt Gen Ruangsak Jritek said around 4,000 police officers would be deployed to facilitate road users at seven main protest sites during the Bangkok shutdown protests.

The police will instruct road users about suitable alternative routes. A police evaluation found that Monday’s mass protests will have an impact on 16 main roads and eight minor roads which normally see an average of about 788,300 vehicles daily.

Meanwhile, the Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order (Capo) on Sunday issued a ban on vehicles carrying equipment that will be used to support the protest rallies or hinder security officers from entering parts of 14 roads in Bangkok. 

The equipment includes such things as sand, cement, sandbags, bamboo or loudspeakers with amplifier power of more than one kilowatt. 

Read the original story here.

 

 

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