Some early pictures of the Pitak Siam rally, together with the bizarre story of escaped snakes at a rally car park are available at Manager Online.
Update 1: It didn’t take long before Pitak Siam protesters got in the face of police, surging through barbed wire and being hit with tear gas. This made a mockery of the fake claims by the Pitak Siam leadership that there would be no violence, and if there was, the rally would end. Of course, that wasn’t what the dinosaur leadership wanted; they prefer confrontation and the police seemed willing to respond. Several protesters were arrested and several of them and police suffered minor injuries.
Dinosaur-in-chief General Boonlert Kaewprasit:
vowed to retaliate against the police for detaining a group of demonstrators. He threatened to storm the prime minister’s Government House office complex, a tactic used in the 2008 demonstrations by he yellow-shirted People’s Alliance for Democracy.
He claimed the police “broke the promise that will allow us to stage a peaceful rally” when the video shows the protesters breaking through. Boonlert blamed the police for “trying to lure us into violence…”. He added: “If the police don’t stop doing something like this, I may ask the military to help me.”
Reports: The Nation, Bangkok Post, AFP.
Video from 2Bangkok.com:
Update 2: By mid-afternoon, it is clear that Pitak Siam is seeking to mount a PAD-like effort to provoke violence and occupy areas in the city. Organizers have used claims of lese majeste to damn the Puea Thai government and enrage supporters. This was followed by further efforts to occupy areas of the city. For no other reason than to provoke police, royalist dunce Tul Sitthisomwong went on the warpath, leading protesters to occupy Makkhawan Rangsang Bridge. This effort saw more tear gas used by police against protesters.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Sukampol Suwannathat “ordered Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha to prepare troops to assist police to keep law and order should police fail to control the situation…”. Prayuth was reported as ordering “the First Division, the Second Cavalry Division and the Anti-Aircraft Artillery Division to prepared 8 companies of troops each to provide reinforcements to police when asked to.”
Boonlert was reported as stating that the rally would continue, even as numbers remained lower than he hoped for.
Update 3: Reports of protesters preparing weapons emerge. PPT is not going to update this post further as both Bangkok Pundit and Siam Voices are live blogging (connect from our links above, right).