A huge crowd of pro-democracy demonstrators occupied Bangkok’s business district at the Ratchaprasong intersection yesterday, October 25, after Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-O’Cha ignored the protesters’ deadline to step down over the weekend.
The latest gathering was called by activist Jatupat “Pai Dao Din” Boonpattararaksa, who was granted bail last Friday after being arrested for allegedly obstructing police officers on October 13. It was considered as the first mass gathering after the severe state of emergency in Bangkok, which made a social gathering of more than 5 people illegal, had been withdrawn.
A number of pro-democracy protesters had started massing at the normally busy intersection around 3:15 PM before the crowd took over the area by 4:00 PM. Meanwhile, Police from Lumpini police station told the protesters to disperse by 5:00 PM., claiming that they did not notify the authorities of their gathering beforehand. The protesters, however, ignored the police’s instruction and continued swelling at the intersection.
The atmosphere of the peaceful rally had featured many batches of protesters and activists who came to voice out their opinions towards what they called chronic social and political problems and to discuss social awareness in Thailand as well as to conduct performances and shows to express their freedom of expression.
Pro-democracy rallies had also been staged nationally and internationally yesterday to keep up the pressure on the Thai Government to abide by their core demands of the resignation of the Prime Minister, a new drafting of a more democratic constitution, release of protest leaders from jail and for some reform of the nation’s highest institution.
The gathering in Bangkok had kept going through the night until 8:30 PM. They were reminded to join another anticipated demonstration today, October 26, from the Samyan MRT station to the German Embassy on Sathorn Road from 5:00 PM. onwards.
Meanwhile, the government has begun a special parliamentary session this morning to seek to ease political tensions amid the ongoing protests, following Prime Minister’s vow to ‘take a step back’ and to resort to the Parliament for solutions last week. The session is scheduled to last until tomorrow.
Join the discussion in our Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/438849630140035/or in the comments below.