AS the “People Stop Apec 2022” demonstrators started marching from City Hall square (Larn Khon Mueang) to Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre (QSNCC) around noon today (Nov. 18) they were intercepted at the corner of Dinso road where tear gas and rubber bullets were fired at them triggering a clash with five protester hit by these bullets, Matichon and Naewna newspapers said.
The Centre for Human Rights Lawyers said six demonstrators were detained and taken to Thung Song Hong police station but Ms. Pasarawalee Thanakit-wibulphol, or Mind, one of the leaders of this group, later said countless had been rounded out.
The timeline of the events is as follows:
– At 12.15 p.m. the procession was still at Dinso road near a courtyard where policemen manned a barricade with others positioned around the Democracy Monument;
Mr. Chamnong Noophan, head of the People’s Movement for a Just Society, or “P-Move”, then announced a stop for lunch to assess the situation after which an announcement would be made on how they were to proceed. The protesters were told they had a choice of rice with either minced pork or stir-fried fish to eat.
At around this time it started to drizzle and one protester put dried chillies and salt into a pan on a stove in a ritual ceremony to curse dictators;
– at 12.35 p.m. policemen fired tear gas and several rubber bullets at the protesters;
– At 12.39 p.m. protest guards told demonstrators to run to the City Hall square. There was an ambulance parked there and those hit by rubber bullets crowded around seeking help. Others affected by tear gas also sought help;
At this point police ordered the media to retreat;
– At 12.43 p.m. some demonstrators had reached the City Hall square and the guards told them to go into a nearby alley;
– At 12:46 p.m.policemen faced off with another group of demonstrators near Baanpin & Cafe, Dinso road, but the police team later retreated;
– At 12:48 p.m. policemen removed vehicles blocking protesters with tow trucks because the tyres had been deflated.
Pasarawalee later said altogether five demonstrators were injured by rubber bullets and countless arrested.
She added that the demonstrators were unarmed but despite this police fired rubber bullets at them even though they were not going to hurt anyone. The demonstrators only wanted to march to QSNCC to submit their suggestions.
Police firing tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators and detaining them. Photos: Naewna