Protesters start gathering at Democracy Monument
Protesters, mostly from upcountry, have been arriving at the Democracy Monument in Bangkok, since early this morning, to join the protest organized by the Khana Ratsadon demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-op-cha, the rewriting of the Constitution and sweeping reform of the Monarchy.
Parit “Penguin” Chivarak, one of the protest leaders, announced last night that the start time of the protest had been brought forward, from 2pm to 8am today, following the arrest of 21 protesters yesterday, including a leader, Chatupat Boonthararaksa, alias Pai Daodin, as police were clearing the road for a Royal motorcade, which will pass through the area this afternoon.
Lawyer and Kao Klai Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat, and some relatives, were allowed to visit the 21 protesters being detained in the camp of Region 1 Border Patrol Police in Pathum Thani province last night.
Pita later told the media that all the detainees are safe and well.
A ceremony will be held for the “October 14th” fallen heroes this morning, to commemorate those who were killed by troops on October 14th, 1973. Former human rights commissioner Angkhana Neelapaichit will give an address on human rights issues.
A few pro-Monarchy groups are scheduled to hold rallies in areas close to the Democracy Monument today, namely:
- Ex-monk Buddha Issara and his supporters began to gather at the Royal Plaza at 9am.
- Rienthong Nanna, director of Mongkut Wattana, held a gathering at Makkawan Bridge at 10am.
- Suthep Thaugsuban, former leader of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee, which engineered the months-long protests against the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra about six years ago, and his supporters are to converge at Maha Jesadabodin Pavilion on Ratchadamnoen Avenue.
- Warong Dejgitvigrom, leader of “Thai Pakdee”, is to hold a rally in front of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.