Protesters to camp overnight near Thailand’s Government House
Three groups of protesters, all affiliated with the anti-establishment Ratsadon group, plan to set up camps near Government House, after they march from the Democracy and Victory monuments late this afternoon.
Razor-wire fences have been erected at Chamaimaruchet Bridge, while several empty shipping containers have been placed at various locations to form barricades to prevent the protesters from getting near Government House, where a group of ethnic Karen villagers from Kaeng Krachan national park has been encamped to demand the return of their ancestral land.
Police said that they are ready to deal with violent protesters, as they claim there are several troublemakers among the protesters.
Police have warned protesters that they may face legal consequences if they camp out in areas around Government House.
Pol Maj-Gen Piya Tavichai, deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, said today (Saturday) that anti-riot police have been put on standby to deal with the “Through the Sky” protesters, who plan to erect “villages” around Government House after a march from the Democracy Monument.
He said that Government House is off-limits to unauthorized people and is not a place for anyone to pitch camps at will, as he suggested the protesters use other venues, which will not cause a disturbance to other people and will not risk breaking the law.
Organized by the UNME of Anarchy, an affiliate of the Ratsadon group, the “Through the Sky” protesters started gathering at the Democracy Monument at about 2pm today,before marching to Government House.
Motorists have been warned to avoid all roads around Government House, as they may get caught up in the heavy traffic or road closures.
Thanadet Srisongkhram, a leader of one of the protest groups ofmainly active and former vocational students, told the media today that their demand is for the resignation of the government and a new constitution.
He denied that his group is prone to violence, adding that they would camp near Government House.