Police brace for three protest groups in Bangkok this afternoon
About 5,000 police are being deployed at and around the Democracy Monument where protesters plan to hold anti-government rallies this afternoon, as motorists are advised to avoid Rajdamnoen Avenue and nearby roads.
The Free Women’s Group plans to gather at the Kok Wua intersection from 4pm to 7pm, while the so-called “Festival Mob” plans to rally at the Democracy Monument from 2pm tomidnight. Meanwhile, the “Bad Student” Group will gather in front of the Education Ministry, located on the Rajdamnoen Nai Road from 1pm.
The three groups, which are integral parts of the anti-establishment movement, may converge on the Democracy Monument.
Pol Maj-Gen Piya Tavichai, deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, said yesterday that only the Free Women’s Group has sought prior permission from the local police for public assembly.
He said that 34 companies of police will be deployed to keep the peace at the three locations, adding that no barriers have been erected to block the protesters.
The roads to be avoided tomorrow include Rajdamnoen Klang, Rajdamnoen Nok, Somdet Phra Pinklao, Visutthikasat, Chakkrapadipong, Larn Luang Din Sor, Tanown, Rama 8 Bridge and Pinklao Bridge.
Motorists can seek advice from the police by calling 1197 or the M-Help Me application.
The deputy commissioner also said that police are to file charges against at least 17 key protesters for the November 8th rally,during which the participants marched toward the Grand Palace to submit letters, to the Bureau of the Royal Household, demanding reforms of the Monarchy.
Meanwhile, Yellow-shirt leader Buddha Issara (Suvit Thongprasert), former abbot of Or Noi Temple in Nakhon Pathom province, is mobilizing former Red Shirt followers and former-communists in the Northeast to join royalists at the City Pillar, near Sanam Luang on November 17th, for a religious ceremony, to pray for all the deities to protect the Monarchy and the kingdom of Thailand.
The former members of the Red Shirt movement, former communist guerrillas and sympathizers have shunned their previous political causes and are joining hands with authorities to oppose ongoing attempts by anti-establishment protesters to press for a reform of the monarchy.
He also urged all Thais to gather at Sanam Luang on December 5th, which marks the birthday of the late King Bhumibol, to pay homage to the late King.