Authorities continue to disrupt regional red-shirt new year’s party

A regional red-shirt group has decided to call off a new year party after a brief confrontation between red shirts and the police. 
 
On 24 December 2017, police officers disrupted a new year party hosted by Western and Central red shirts. The event was held at a restaurant in Amphawa District, Samut Songkhram. The authorities had forced the cancellation of the event by repeatedly intimidating the owner of the original restaurant, but the group decided to go ahead with the plan to hold the party on Christmas Eve. 
 
Tension was heightened when plain-clothes police officers switched off the lights as famous luk thung singer Phet Photharam was about to sing on stage in front of about 100 red-shirt participants. 
 
Suwanna Tallek, the organiser, decided immediately to cancel the event to prevent confrontation between the police and angry red shirts. 
 
“Eventually, we gave up because we sympathised with the restaurant owner,” Suwanna stated. “No singing. No live broadcast. We had to give up.” She added that the authorities tailed her after she left the restaurant. 
 
On 17 December the group decided to cancel an event planned for another restaurant after the authorities repeatedly intimidated the restaurant owner. Although the party was already cancelled, plain-clothes police officers twice went to the restaurant and took photos of customers and the license plates of vehicles parked there.