Police and law enforcement officers made a move to close all roads leading to the Ratchaprasong intersection where pro-democracy protesters were planning for another gathering at 5:00 PM onwards.
However, shortly before 5:00 PM, protesters announced a change in venue and stated the protest will go on despite heavy rain and the government declaring gatherings of over five people illegal.
Police spokesman Yingyot Thepchamnong announced at a press briefing this afternoon, October 16, that roads at the Chalerm Phao intersection and the Pratunam and Ratchaprasong areas were blocked to prevent another massive pro-democracy gathering at the Ratchaprasong intersection today at 5:00 PM.
“All types of vehicles and people who do not have any necessary business in the area are not allowed to enter the Ratchaprasong intersection. There will be several strict individual screening points stationed at all closed roads.” The spokesman said.
He also stressed that the police have not yet fully enforced the regulations under the severe state of emergency and have always warned the protesters to abide by the law. Additionally, there are currently seven protesters who were arrested yesterday for allegedly bringing a pickup truck with an amplifier into the assembly area.
Today, the regulations of the severe emergency will be fully implemented and intensified, particularly on the prohibition of any gatherings of more than 5 people according to the Thai police. The protesters will be subject to legal action if they are caught violating the law.
Those who attempt to publish and post any false and misleading information will also face charges against the new severe emergency and the Computer Act, which could mean imprisonment for 5 years or a fine of 100,000 baht or both, Yingyot concluded.
With the rally site changed, police trucks and resources have now been seen moving to the new location. We will keep readers updated throughout the night. General commuters are advised to avoid the area due to heavy traffic disruption. Many malls and businesses in the area have closed for the day including Central World. Additionally heavy rain is currently impacting the area.
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