State of emergency declared, protest dispersed before sunrise

At around 04.40 this morning (15 October), police in riot gear retook the protest site at Government House. Anon Nampa, Prasit Karutarote, Parit Chiwarak and Panupong Jadnok have been arrested. Military trucks full of soldiers have been seen entering Government House.

Riot control police dispersing the protesters before sunrise.

As of 05.48 7 people have reportedly been arrested. Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha declared a state of emergency for Bangkok as of 04.00.

The emergency decree states that as many people have mobilized in an unlawful public gathering in Bangkok, using many methods to cause unrest that affect public order and a royal procession, the protest is therefore an act affecting state security, public safety and private assets and lives and not a peaceful gathering as provided by the Thai constitution.

Gen Prawit Wongsuwan is designated to oversee matters related to the state of emergency.

Here is a brief timeline of events overnight.

00.30 A Border Patrol Police unit carrying shields was seen near Wang Daeng Intersection and moving towards Misakawan intersection, close to the protest area by Government House.

At 01.00, protest leader Anon Nampa announced that the protest at Government House will disperse in the morning in order to move to the Ratchaprasong intersection at 16.00 due to security concerns, as the current location of the protest is surrounded by government offices. 

He told the protesters to stay in place and to not react if government forces decide to break up the protest, and to let the leaders be arrested to see if the government will dare to use force against peaceful protesters.

He also noted that by law, government officials can only break up a protest during the day, and they must have a warrant. 

05.38 Protesters were forced to leave the protest ground. Many cars were honking and people shouting at the police who are in riot gear.

06.02 Riot control police continued pushing protesters out of the original protest site.

06.22 Protesters were seen assisting each other to find shelter to rest. Those who stayed overnight are from other provinces.  Many protesters invited each other to be at the afternoon protest.

It is noticeable that the crackdown took place before sunrise in contradiction to universal standards as it increases the risk to both protesters and the authorities.

 

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