Human rights lawyer Arnon Nampa has called on the public to attend the rally tomorrow after 6 pm. On Monday, it was reported by military intelligence that up to 10,000 people are expected at Democracy Monument tomorrow as security appears to be tighter for this rally which is still unauthorised and illegal.
Police took a strong line with a protest vanguard group attempting to block the road in central Bangkok on Tuesday ahead of a Royal motorcade on Wednesday. Over 20 people were arrested for taking part in an illegal demonstration and were later reported as being detained in Pathum Thani.
A defiant protest leader acting as part of a vanguard operation for Wednesday’s rally in front of Democracy Monument was arrested by police on Tuesday afternoon when violent scuffles broke out after riot police were deployed to remove protestors who insisted on blocking traffic in the area.
Mr Jatupat Boonpatararaksa or Pai Doadin was tackled by riot police and forcefully taken away into custody along with 20 other participants in the fracas with police in which blue paint was sprayed at officers.
The incident has led to further calls by protest leaders for their supporters to come out on Wednesday for the planned rally on the anniversary of the overthrow of the government of Field Marshall Thanom Kittikachorn in 1973.
Up to 30 defiant protesters refused to cooperate with police instructions and repeated requests to move on
The violence broke out after the group of about 30 demonstrators refused to comply with police orders on Ratchadamnoen Avenue early on Tuesday.
There are reports that His Majesty the King was due to pass through the environs with his motorcade on Wednesday as he travels to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha for a Buddhist graduation ceremony.
Barricades used to erect a banner calling for the repeal of Article 112 of the Criminal Code on Lèse majesté
Before the police intervention on Tuesday, some pro-democracy protesters had used barricades to erect banners with a slogan calling for the abolition of Article 112 of the Thai Criminal Code which outlaws lèse majesté against the monarch.
The offence can lead to long prison sentences even for those who inadvertently offend or insult the institution.
The law is strongly supported and guarded by conservative elements in Thailand who see the monarchy as beyond reproach and above the political fray.
Groups recited poetry, sang songs and gave salutes while ignoring police appeals for co-operation
Police attempted to negotiate and engage in dialogue with the protestors from 1.20 pm to 3 pm on Tuesday without success.
Efforts by police were ignored while the protestors performed poetry and engaged in singing while flashing the now-famous three-finger salute at the policemen waiting at the scene, many in waterproof coverings because of the wet and inclement weather.
Forceful action by police commenced at 3 pm and saw five companies of the riot police deployed to tackle the protestors. Among those arrested was Mr Jatupat Boonpatararaksa or Pai Doadin as well as well known singer, Chaiamorn Kaewwiboonpan, also known as AmmyThe Bottom Blues.
Police spokesman confirmed initially that 19 arrests had been made at the scene by officers
Following the operation, after 4 pm, Police Colonel Kissana Phathanacharoen, initially confirmed that 19 arrests had been made for a range of offences including participation in an unauthorised protest. Those taken from the scene were detained by border police in Pathum Thani province.
The arrests drew calls from protest leaders on Tuesday evening to their supporters to come out in force to protest at the action.
Human rights lawyer calls for support
In a live Facebook page broadcast on Tuesday, human rights activist and one of the key organisers of Wednesday’s protest, Arnon Nampa, has called on pro-democracy groups to gather in the centre of Bangkok on Wednesday at 6 pm.
A crowd of over 10,000 people is expected in Bangkok at Democracy Monument on Wednesday for the planned for October 14th rally.