Riot police use tear gas and fire rubber bullets at protesters in Bangkok, Thailand

Photo via Twitter user @PencilmaniaTH

Riot police fired rubber bullets and used tear gas against unarmed protesters trying to march to the APEC Summit in Bangkok this morning. At least ten protesters were arrested.

The People Stop APEC 2022 group attempted to march from Lan Khon Mueang Town Square to the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre where the APEC Summit is currently being held from November 16-19.

Riot police equipped with shields were ordered not to allow protestors near the centre. Protest leader Baramee Chairat asked the police to let protestors through and warned that the group would attempt to break through the police’s barrier in 10 minutes if they didn’t move.

Police stayed put and clashes broke out between them and protesters at around midday on Bangkok’s Dinso Road near the democracy monument. Several rubber bullets were fired at protesters at a close range of around two metres. At 12.35pm, police used tear gas against the group and protesters dispersed.

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Spokesman for the police Pol. Maj. Gen. Achayon Khraithong defended the police’s use of rubber bullets and tear gas, claiming that they acted in self-defence after protesters threw rocks and sprayed spray paint at police.

Officers from Samran Rat Police Station said that 10 offenders were arrested for the vague crime of “not following rules at a protest set by police,” which is punishable by no more than one year in prison or a 20,000 baht fine.

At least two people were wounded by rubber bullets and a photographer for Reuters was injured in the clash.

Protesters call for the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and the end of the APEC 2022 Summit due to host PM Prayut being an illegitimate leader.

By the use of force, police have so far been successful in stopping protesters from getting anywhere near Bangkok’s Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre, where world leaders like Xi Jinping, Justin Trudeau, Kamala Harris, and Emmanuel Macron are attending the big meeting.

Protests are expected to continue today and tomorrow.

Thais are using the Twitter hashtag #ม็อบ18พฤศจิกา65 (#November18Mob) to share videos and pictures of the protest.

In one video on Twitter, a protester is seen being dragged away by several riot police…

In another video, riot police push a Buddhist monk…

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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