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More than 20 police injured in clash with protesters in Bangkok

Caitlin Ashworth

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More than 20 police injured in clash with protesters in Bangkok | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times

More than 20 police officers were injured in a clash with protesters last night at Bangkok’s Democracy Monument, according to the police’s deputy spokesperson. Youth activists gathered to rally against Thailand’s use of the lèse majesté law which prohibits insults against the royal family under Section 112 of the Criminal Code. Numerous activists calling on monarchy reform have faced lese majeste charges over the past few months. The charge carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison.

Last night, protesters draped a red cloth over the Democracy Monument, representing the blood of fighters for democracy. Some protesters held handmade shields and wore helmets. Some even wore gas masks. According to Reuters, the activists threw paint at police and small bangs were heard near the city shrine. At least one firecracker exploded, according to spokesperson Kissana Pattanacharoen. Around 7 or 8 people were detained.

In a video by Khaosod English reporters, who heavily cover the protest movement in Bangkok, police in riot gear beat a man on the ground. Khaosod says the man wore medic vest and another emergency responder confirmed that the man is a rescue worker.

The protest follows the arrests 4 prominent protest leaders who face charges for allegedly insulting the Thai Monarchy during rallies last year. Pro-democracy protesters have raised issues and questions considered taboo in Thailand. With the movement growing in popularity, Thai officials started using the lèse majesté law to charge protesters for critical statements.

SOURCE: Reuters

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21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Maag

    Sunday, February 14, 2021 at 12:09 pm

    Peace brothers…

  2. Avatar

    Issan John

    Sunday, February 14, 2021 at 12:09 pm

    Disgraceful reporting by Khaosod, as in his videos elsewhere the “reporter” can be heard telling the protesters what to do to deliberately provoke a reaction from the police – and frequently telling them in English!

    While the protesters may well have valid issues, that isn’t “covering the protest movement in Bangkok”, it’s just appalling reporting of a bunch of hooligans alienating their potential supporters.

    • Avatar

      Michael

      Sunday, February 14, 2021 at 12:53 pm

      People who protest against a military dictatorship guilty of a lof of bad things including murder and violations of human rights are hot hooligans but freedom fighters.

      • Avatar

        Gosport

        Sunday, February 14, 2021 at 1:17 pm

        Freedom fighters? Oh, man, look around, this is life. There is no such thing called Freedom. Only haves and have nots.

        Young kids, go home, making papaya salad, with extra time, improve math. Let them fight, your future is in your hands.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Sunday, February 14, 2021 at 2:03 pm

        That may well be their view too, Michael, but the provincial elections show very clearly that Thai people want them even less than they want the current government.

        However valid their grievances are, their actions have simply alienated people and they’ve played straight into the government’s hands as people are now looking at what they’re doing rather than what they’re saying.

  3. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Sunday, February 14, 2021 at 1:56 pm

    Now this is more like a protest.
    I am glad to see the protesters are becoming equipped with shields, gas masks, and helmets.
    After all it is not against the law.
    The police have them.
    I don’t think this will alienate their potential supporters. This will encourage their potential supporters.

    • Avatar

      Slugger

      Sunday, February 14, 2021 at 2:08 pm

      If they want to fight on an equal footing I totally agree. Just dont whine while you’re in custody.

      • Avatar

        Toby Andrews

        Sunday, February 14, 2021 at 5:08 pm

        And the police should not whine when they are hurt, as 20 were this time. They have hurt plenty . . .

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Sunday, February 14, 2021 at 2:28 pm

      The numbers, both at the provincial elections and on the streets protesting, very clearly indicate otherwise.

      • Avatar

        Toby Andrews

        Monday, February 15, 2021 at 5:59 pm

        And what numbers were they?

  4. Avatar

    Ian

    Sunday, February 14, 2021 at 4:32 pm

    The silent majority support them the west supports them, these are brave people to stand against thier government and put thier life’s on the line for FREEDOM something some people on here have given up

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Sunday, February 14, 2021 at 4:48 pm

      The “silent majority” had a vote in the recent provincial elections – they clearly DON’T support them.

  5. Avatar

    sam

    Sunday, February 14, 2021 at 8:00 pm

    The protestors came and were prepared to clash with the police.Peaceful protest was just a gimmick and if it would be carried on in this manner,it would not be different from the days of Red Shirts with violent attacks in the past.”3 fingers salute”activists have lost their way,after Future Forward Party was disbanded for violations of election laws.It had come to pass that they were willing to shed blood for democracy,as depicted in the “Hunger Games” movie. Wonder what banned politician,Thanathorn has to say about the turn of events,as he is their role model ?

  6. Avatar

    Jim kelly

    Sunday, February 14, 2021 at 9:31 pm

    I kind of think let the Thai economy fall flat on its arse over the next 6 to 8 months and then watch what kicks off…when folk have no jobs or money. This government and it’s King will most definitely NOT help these people. So, let’s see their response when this situation happens. Covid has annihilated Thailand…the WORST IS STILL TO COME!!

  7. Avatar

    James R

    Sunday, February 14, 2021 at 9:49 pm

    It looks like France nearly every other weekend!

    Protest with your voice, not with missiles as that will alienate you from the majority of people.

  8. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Sunday, February 14, 2021 at 9:50 pm

    Rioting in the streets will definitely deter the eventual return of the Chinese tourist. However, it will have little to no effect on the western ones. Not only will the Chinese themselves not want to visit, they are that risk adverse of travelers . Even so there is no chance whatsoever their government would allow it. Least the people get any funny ideas.

  9. Avatar

    Ian

    Sunday, February 14, 2021 at 9:56 pm

    It’s obvious you don’t support them ij you sold your soul years ago I wonder what your comments are about the police in riot gear attacking a defenceless medic or you gone quiet all of a sudden your a disgrace to England

  10. Avatar

    Kuhn David

    Sunday, February 14, 2021 at 10:17 pm

    I fear that Deadly Force will be authorized soon at these protests. The Government has painted itself into a corner. I truly hope that this won’t happen, but it’s inevitable.

  11. Avatar

    Danish Twirl

    Monday, February 15, 2021 at 7:12 am

    Blah blah blah. None of you have the courage to go out there yourselves to stand up for what you believe in. Just sit on a chair in front of a computer screen being judgemental.

  12. Avatar

    Ian

    Monday, February 15, 2021 at 7:38 am

    BIB should work for the people.

  13. Avatar

    Ian

    Monday, February 15, 2021 at 9:05 pm

    If I was in thailand i would be on the front line with them Danish twirl

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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Bangkok. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Protests

Pro-democracy activist hit with 6 million baht fine for removal of plants at rally site

Maya Taylor

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Pro-democracy activist hit with 6 million baht fine for removal of plants at rally site | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook / Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul

Protest leader Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, aka “Rung”, has been hit with a fine of nearly 6 million baht, after removing plants at Bangkok’s Democracy Monument. Panusaya and 5 other activists have been charged with removing plants placed as decoration around the monument, during a political rally on February 13.

She says Samran Rat police station has ordered her to pay 5.9 million baht as a result of the action. She has also been charged with violation of the emergency decree and various disease control measures. In addition, she faces the serious charge of lèse majesté, following her role in a September 19 rally at the public square of Sanam Luang in Bangkok.

The Democracy Monument rally on February 13 was organised by the People’s Movement, calling for the release of 4 fellow activists. According to a Bangkok Post report, the plants were removed to make way for the rally. Another prominent pro-democracy activist, Panupong Jadnok, aka “Mike Rayong” accuses officials of deliberately planting the trees to create an obstruction. The rally ended in skirmishes with police at the Supreme Court, near Sanam Luang. Protesters were attempting to reach the Bangkok Pillar Shrine, but had their passage blocked by police.

Meanwhile, over the weekend, the government banned mass gatherings, including political protests, ostensibly due to Covid-19 fears. The law has been published in the Royal Gazette, coming into effect on Saturday. However, activists from the People Go network defied the law over the weekend, gathering in protest at the Democracy Monument and calling for the release of the 4 activists held on lèse majesté charges.

Various groups, including Amnesty International and the UN Human Rights Committee, have criticised the government’s use of the country’s lèse majesté law, with Amnesty International describing it as an attempt to silence dissent.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Protests

Thailand’s pro-democracy activists ignore emergency decree warnings over weekend

Maya Taylor

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Thailand’s pro-democracy activists ignore emergency decree warnings over weekend | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook / People GO network

Ignoring a police warning not to violate the emergency decree, pro-democracy activists gathered in their hundreds at Bangkok’s Democracy Monument yesterday. Although the anti-government protests have kicked off again after a 2 month hiatus, the numbers are well down on last years crowds, now measuring more in the hundreds than the thousands.

The Bangkok Post reports that members of the People Go network came together to call for 4 fellow activists to be released from Bangkok Remand Prison. The 4… Anon Nampa, Parit Chiwarak (aka. Penguin), Somyos Prueksakasemsuk, and Patiwat Saraiyaem… are being held on charges of violating section 112 of the Criminal Code (more commonly known as lèse majesté – criticising members of the Thai royal family). All 4 have been denied bail.

Officers from Samran Rat and Songkhram police stations issued statements to say the rally was in violation of the emergency decree. On Saturday, the government used the all-encompassing Covid-19 umbrella to issue a ban on political rallies across 6 provinces, including Bangkok.

Activist Jatupat Boonpattararaksa, aka, Pai Dao Din, ignored a police order for the rally to disperse and proceeded with setting up a stage at the Democracy Monument. He also gave assurances that the gathering would remain peaceful.

“We are not fighting the police deployed in front of us. We are fighting against dictatorship.”

Activists had walked 250 kilometres, from the north-eastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima (also known as Korat), reaching Bangkok’s Kasetsart University on Saturday. Yesterday, they ended their mammoth trek with a walk to the Democracy Monument.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Protests

Motorists told to avoid certain areas in Bangkok as protests planned for today

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Motorists told to avoid certain areas in Bangkok as protests planned for today | The Thaiger

Bangkok motorists are being told to avoid areas where protests are planned to take place today. Kasetsart intersection, Lat Phrao intersection, Rachaprasong shopping district’s Central World shopping mall and 11th Infantry Regiment barracks in Bangkhen are the sites where demonstrators are set to infiltrate.

The Metropolitan Police Commissioner says he is most concerned about the Lat Phrao intersection, due to the Redem or Restart Democracy group planning to hold a leaderless protest, which has been prone to violence in the past as demonstrated last Sunday. The group is an offset of the Free Youth movement, which is one of the main groups that have been demonstrating against the military-backed government.

The Redem protesters plan to march from the Lat Phrao intersection to the Criminal Court on Ratchadapisek Road, despite a law announced in the Royal Gazette last night which banned protests, mass gatherings and assemblies. The law stated the reasoning was not political, citing fears over Covid-19 instead.

The newly announced law would give the government a wider range of power in enforcing such public gatherings, with law-breakers being subjected to up to a 40,000 baht fine or up to 2 years in jail. The Redem group is expected to demand the release of core Ratsadon leaders and others being held in jail without bail.

The Ratsadon group reached the outskirts of Bangkok yesterday, after a nearly 250 kilometre-long march from the Thao Suranaree statue in Korat province’s Muang district province. But they were met by police who tried to prevent them from marching further into Bangkok, but eventually allowed them to keep marching until they reached the Kasetsart intersection. The group is expected to end the march tomorrow, at Democracy Monument.

Despite the groups’ plans to ignore the recent law that bans protests, police have warned that they will face charges if they defy the new order. 32 companies of anti-riot police have been placed on standby in light of the expected protests taking place in Thailand’s capital today.

SOURCE: Thai Pbs World

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