Thai police brace for Bangkok rally (Up-Dated)

Pitak Siam

Pitak Siam (Photo credit: AK Rockefeller)

About 3,000 to 4,000 Thais showed up at the People’s Army protest yesterday, for what they say is a 7 day plan to topple the Yingluck government. The crowd was far below their last protest. In an earlier protest of the Pitak Siam, that changed its name to People’s Army, about 15,000 to 20,000 showed up. The protesters said however, yesterday was their first day, and they expect more to join. In the Pitak Siam protest, protesters rammed trucks into police line, in an attempt to break the line for passage to the Government House, to occupy it. The objective was to destabilize Thailand for a military coup. A fresh poll of the Thais said the majority does not want political instability and is against the protest.  Meanwhile , AFP reports; Thai police braced for a fresh round of anti-government protest in Bangkok on Sunday amid security concerns in a city where multiple rallies over recent years have led to unrest. Stages were erected and some early demonstrators milled near the planned rally site, a park in the center of the capital. “The situation is normal. Police will take care of security during the protest,” said deputy metropolitan police chief Parinya Chansuriya, adding that there was as yet no official estimate for the numbers expected. The protests are being held by the self-styled “People’s Army”—a coalition of ultra-royalist groups who loathe the Puea Thai ruling party and its self-exiled figurehead Thaksin Shinawatra. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Thaksin’s sister, on Saturday expressed “worry that the rally could lead to violence.” The Thai government has already invoked a special security law to control the protests, which could go on for several days. More than 1,600 police were deployed Saturday to protect key government buildings, while thousands more were put on standby. Police have said the special security law does not extend to the park area, but that they are authorized to use water cannon, tear gas and rubber bullets if violence erupts. Mass demonstrations, often involving bloodshed, have become a recurrent feature of Thailand’s turbulent politics in recent years, with ultra-royalist nationalist “Yellow Shirts” and their pro-Thaksin “Red Shirt” foes both taking to the streets. In 2010 two months of Red Shirt protest against a previous government brought much of Bangkok to a standstill and culminated in a bloody military crackdown. Some 90 people were killed in the unrest, with around 1,900 injured. (Source) (Up-Dated) The protest have fizzled out as the number of protesters who marched with Abhisit was too small to make a differences and also, the People’s Army, an off shoot of the Pitak Siam, saw fewer than 500 protesters at their gathering yesterday, in what the group said was too few people to make a move on Parliament. Parliament meanwhile passe the Amnesty Bill first reading with about 300 MPs for the bill, against about 125 against from Abhisit’s Dems. Calles are also being made to lift the emergency act.

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