Pro-democracy protesters, along with a mix of those protesting Covid-19 related measures and restrictions, marched from the Uruphong intersection in Bangkok to the Government House yesterday evening, July 2nd, where they staged a peaceful protest and a flea market for local entrepreneurs who had been financially affected by the government’s latest Covid-19 orders.
These orders included closures of Bangkok restaurants for dine-in, angering thousands of business owners in the city. This is on top of an already almost three-month-long ban on entertainment and nightlife venues that have led this sector to increasingly call for support and financial aid.
The protesters joined the gathering, led by recently-released pro-democracy activist Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, at the Uruphong intersection at around 4:00 PM. Despite police barricades of barbed wire and traffic fences, the demonstration had managed to peacefully march through to the destination.
Two high-pressure water cannon trucks and three prisoner transport vehicles were reportedly deployed at Gate 5 of the Government House, opposite the Ministry of Education.
Royal Thai Police revealed to the press yesterday that the protesters’ act of staging a flea market, claiming to economically help local business during the Covid-19 period, was crucially considered illegal as the situation of the Covid-19 epidemic was still severe.
All protest leaders, persuaders, and demonstrators were guilty of the law, according to the Emergency Decree in Bangkok that has forbidden the large gathering of more than twenty people.
As of 5:25 PM., heavy rain had battered the site as soon as the first speech was finished, causing the protesters to disperse for a while. However, the speech, given by Penguin, continued despite the unfortunate weather.
Local vendors continued setting up their booths while more protesters were seen walking on the closed street as soon as the rain stopped. The gathering continued and was reportedly staged peacefully as of press time under the watchful surveillance of law enforcement.
So far, no charges have been filed.
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