Opposing protesters mobilizing for possible showdown on Wednesday
The anti-establishment Khana Ratsadon group and royalists are mobilizing support for, what could be, a confrontation on Ratchadamnoen Avenue tomorrow, as police are being deployed to protect Government House.
Khana Ratsadon supporters launched a campaign in Bangkok’s neighboring province of Nonthaburi today (Tuesday) to mobilize support, particularly among the new generation, trying to persuade them to join the protest at the Democracy Monument, which marks the 47th anniversary of the “October 14th“ student-led uprising which toppled the Thanom-Praphas-Narong military dictatorship.
On a truck, equipped with a PA system, the group, led by Parit “Penguin” Chivarak and Chinnavat Chankrachang, travelled to nine locations in the province, including the Commerce and Public Health ministries, the Office of the Government Lottery Office, the Social Security Office, the house of Senate Vice President Supachai Somcharoen, Admiral Chartchai Srivorakhan, Assistant Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, Chaiyapruek and Nonthaburi police stations.
Chinnavat said that he will lead about 400 young Khana Ratsadon supporters to the protest in Bangkok in 11 boats.
Parit, meanwhile, said that the protesters will not return home empty-handed and will spend the night around Government House, to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Asked whether the protesters will try to break through the barriers erected around Government House, he said that the obstacle was not a problem, adding that protest leaders willdecide tomorrow.
Some protesters have occupied the pavement, in front of the McDonalds fast-food outlet opposite the Democracy Monument, to erect a tent ahead of the tomorrow’s rally.
Meanwhile, Mongkut Wattana Hospital Director, Dr. Rienthong Nanna, an ardent royalist, said in his Facebook post today that he would lead supporters of the Monarchy to rally at the Royal Plaza tomorrow, to begin his “national garbage collection” operation.
He said that he could no longer tolerate the Khana Ratsadonprotesters and decided to launch the counter-protest and is ready to face the consequences.
Pol Col Watchawee Thammasema, Superintendent of 4th subdivision of the Special Branch, who is in charge of security at Government House, said that he will try to persuade protest leaders not to use Ratchadamnoen Avenue for their march, but to use the Nakhon Sawan Road instead.
If the protest leaders do not agree, he said that concrete barriersand barbed wire fencing will be erected at the Chamaimayurachet Bridge, to block the protesters.
He said the protesters will be allowed to use Phitsanuloke Road.