19 July 2024

Nine protesters, including a protest leader, were arrested by police this afternoon (Tuesday), following a minor clash when protesters refused to move from the road onto the pavement, as ordered by the police.

Among those taken into custody was Chatuphat Boonpattharaksa, alias Pai Daodin, and Ammie, a former Rapper of the Bottom Blues Band, who gained notoriety for throwing blue paint at police during a recent protest. Pai, among others, was seen being manhandled into a police detention truck and being driven to Samranrat police station.

Pai reportedly led a group of protesters from northeastern provinces who were camping on the pavement in front of the McDonalds fast-food outlet, opposite the Democracy Monument, ahead of the planned protest tomorrow.

Samranrat police arrived at the scene to ask the protesters to move away from the road, claiming that they wanted the road cleared in preparation for HM the King’s motorcade, which will pass through the area tomorrow on its way to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

The protesters refused to comply. Police reinforcements arrived at the scene and blocked all traffic around the monument. Some protesters threw blue paint at the police, causing a brief commotion.

After police arrested Pai Daodin and eight other protesters, police dismantled the tent and ordered the rest of the protesters to disperse.

Another protest leader then led them to the Bangkok Art Gallery, vowing to rally in front of the Royal Thai Police HQ to demand the release of their colleagues.

Meanwhile, former leader of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee, Suthep Thaugsuban, has mobilized people to show up on Ratchadamnoen Avenue tomorrow to welcome HM the King.

In his Facebook post today, Suthep urged his supporters, wearing yellow shirts, to gather at the Maha Chesadabodin Pavilion, to welcome the King’s motorcade and to remain there until the King returns to the Palace.

Earlier, Dr. Rienthong Nanna, Director of Mongkut Wattana Hospital and an ardent royalist, vowed to lead Monarchists to the Royal Plaza for his “national garbage collection” mission.