On Nov 24, anti-government group Pitak Siam has staged a mass rally at the Royal Plaza in Bangkok. The 8-hour demonstration drew no more than 20,000 participants – a far cry from the expected 1 million turn-ups.
The protest aimed at overthrowing the current government led by Ms. Yingluck Shinawatra, which has been criticized by the group as being corrupt and incapable.
Ms Yingluck was also accused of being a nominee of former Premier Thaksin Shinawatra, her brother, who was ousted by the military coup in 2006.
There have been two rounds of confrontations between the police and protesters as the latter tried to break through the police barricades which blocked the main street leading to the demonstration ground.
Several tear gas missiles were fired to disperse the crowd. Many allegedly have been hit by the police during the face-offs and 132 were arrested – most of them were released the next morning.
The protest ended abruptly at 5.20pm when the group leader former Gen Boonlert Kaewprasit stated he didn’t want to risk lives and urge the protesters to save energy for future actions and to go home.
He vowed not to be involved in political movement or any demonstrations ever again.
At 8.45am, the crowds enter Sri Ayutthaya street, stopped by the police for security checks.
The protesters are heading to the Royal Plaza where the main protest stage is being held.
A banner stating, “Thaksin Die!”
The armed force has blocked Rachadomneon Nok street, the main entry to the rally site, early in the morning, with barbed wires. It has created tensions among the protesters who accused the police of breaching their rights to protest.
(Photo: Jack Kurtz/Getty Images)
First clashes of the day erupted as the protesters trying to push through the police barricades resulting in several tear gas missiles being fired into the crowd.
A man was rushed into medication tent after he was allegedly hit by the police during the confrontation.
A protester showing used tear gas missile that has been expired since May 2012.
Pitak Siam leader former Gen Boonlert Kaewprasit (middle) is on his way to negotiate with the police.
At 10am, the protesters line up hand-in-hand to form human barrier, as Santi Asoke Buddhist sec monks are negotiating with the officials.
The man behind the speakers, negotiating, swearing, motivating and even singing!
At 1.30pm, the crowd is getting ready for another face-off with the police.
At 2pm, the second confrontation starts, followed by tear gas, resulting in people hurriedly fleeting the scene.
Jovial side of the rally
Come join the rally, free som-tum.
The Pitak Siam are known to be Thai traditionalists/royalists.
Shopping stalls along the street.
The men’s bathroom.
Journalists at work.
A long day for the officer.