UPDATE: Riot police deploy water cannons and tear gas at protest outside Parliament

Police in riot gear and gas masks used high pressure water cannons and tear gas against pro-democracy protesters who attempted to remove a 3 layer concrete barricade set up to block passage to the Thai Parliament building in Bangkok. A police officer confirmed with the reporters on site that the water was laced with tear gas.

Photos shared in social media show police arming themselves with rubber bullet guns, shields, helmets and gas masks. Protesters reportedly threw water bottles filled with blue paint and homemade smoke bombs at police which is believed to have triggered police to deploy the water cannon. In a press conference at the scene, an officer said water was used at first, but then officers laced the water with tear gas when the protesters continued to throw smoke bombs and paint at the officers.

From a distance, red and blue smoke was seen clouding the area around the riot truck as water was sprayed at protesters. Police were heard yelling through megaphones telling the protesters to “stop throwing things at us… the police have no choice but to defend this position.” When the water appeared to run out, grey clouds of what is reportedly tear gas took over. Even police in riot gear had to retreat. People fleeing the area were heard coughing.

Police allowed Thai media to be in close proximity to the intervention. While there are metal barricades blocking the media from the protest, when there is a clash, the reporters and photographers just step in.

Protesters, calling on a rewrite of the 2017 Constitution and government reform, planned the rally at the capital while Parliament holds a session to vote on draft charter amendments. Police prepared for the rally, sealing off a 50 metre radius around the Parliament building with barbed wire, barriers and public buses.

The truck’s water tank was refilled at around 3:45pm and an officer was seen pouring a liquid, possibly tear gas, into the tank. Police continued to deploy the water cannon trucks. At one point, protesters were using large inflatable rubber duck pool floats to block the water sprayed from the riot trucks. Around 5pm, protesters were able to remove metal barriers blocking the Parliament building.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

This post was last modified on November 17, 2020 5:41 pm

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Caitlin Ashworth

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.

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  • Welcome to the police state. No more negotiation. Just deploy cannons with tear gas.

    Very cowardly, very bad.

    • Except that is the complete opposite of what is reported, both here and in the international press (BBC, DW, France 24, etc).

      The simple fact is that in comparison with most countries, particularly Western ones, the police acted with considerable restraint under the circumstances only upping their response as the violence escalated.

      In the US, UK and Europe (and much of Asia) there would have been considerably more injuries given the provocation and location.

      Tear gas would certainly have been used, which doesn't appear to have happened here. Irritants were clearly added to the water cannion once the violence against the police escalated but there are no reports of rubber / plastic bullets being fired or any baton charges.

      Whether the escalation in violence is deliberate on the part of the protest leaders or it's 'rogue elements' getting out of hand, or it's an orchestrated re-run of 2014, is anything but clear but the core protests are all too clearly changing priorities from 'government, constitution, monarchy' in that order to 'monarchy, constitution, government'.

  • Hurry up for gods sake and start killing your innocent citizens, because they aint going away and you ain't getting it. Bag of peanuts anyone? How about you Mr Prime Mate

  • False, fake news comes from one place, demonstrators know exactly where. Need more in Prison, Corrupt officials, country full of them

  • "Water" and "tear gas" can't be mixed - the former is a liquid while the latter, rather obviously, is a gas.

    Sorry, but this is simply bad reporting by the Nation.

      • Sorry. but "tear gas" is actually a "gas" - it's the irritant that's in it that's the powder and it CANNOT be mixed with water.

        The powder can - the "gas" can't

      • ... and what do you think would happen if you put sufficient tear gas canisters into the water tank of a water cannon for it to have any effect?

  • Tear gas is not a gas.

    Tear gas — aka agent CS (2-Chlorobenzalmalononitrile) — was invented a century ago, and has long been used as a weapon to control crowds during times of civil unrest. Tear gas is not actually a gas. It's a solid, white powder that can be aerosolized when mixed with a solvent.

    • Bollox.

      The "solid white powder" isn't "tear gas" but is a component of it, and while it was synthesised by two Americans (Corson and Stoughton, hence the 'C' and 'S') in 1928 it was developed at Porton Down in the UK in the 50's and 60's, when it replaced CN which was more toxic but less potent, where I spent a week learning about it in the 80's.

      It's replaced as an irritant in tear gas and water cannon in some countries by CR, which is some ten times more potent than CS (and is yellow, BTW).

      ... and if you think you know what you're talking about, then maybe you can tell us what you can use to reduce CS / CR symptoms? ... and don't bother with google, which isn't your friend here, as it's not water and baking soda. Just to help you, it's ******'* ***** and you can get it at your local pet shop.

      I'm sure an expert like you knows all about it .....

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