The latest round of protests took a violent turn last night when more than 400 police resorted to aiming high-powered water cannons directly at the students who were assembled in an otherwise peaceful display of unity. The protesters, mostly secondary and tertiary students, and young Thai adults, continued their demands for the release of their fellow protesters who had been arrested in the past days, as well as continuing to hammer home their demands for a change of government and constitutional reform.
The protesters held fast, brandishing the 3 finger salute, and yelled at police to stop harassing them.
It was an end to the third straight day of protests that are now growing in number, with the students showing that they’re prepared to also grow in resolve. The messy end to last night’s protest came around 8pm when riot police, and hundreds of unarmed support police, challenged the protest frontline at the Pathumwan intersection and moved forward with shields and batons, and a back up of high-powered water cannons aiming blue water and knocking over the protesters in their way, whose only weapon were flimsy umbrellas.
Many of the protesters complained that the blue water stung their eyes.
As protest leaders called an end to the evening’s protest, another protest was announced for today at a location yet to be announced.
Last night’s fracas was live streamed by hundreds of people, despite police threatening attending media not to take photos or video any of the events taking place. Streaming numbers on some of the feeds have already reached 500,000+
Some protesters, angered by the intervention, chased police, throwing anything they could find at them, screaming at them to “stop harassing us”.
There have been reports of up to 6 police being injured during the confrontation. Protest leaders say that 13 of the demonstrators have been injured. There has been no announcement of the number of protesters being arrested at this stage.
Bangkok is under a State of Emergency which prevents, among other things, the assembly of more than 5 people in one place. Today the Thai PM announced that the State of Emergency would last at least one month.
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