With a final update: Arrests and state of emergency

15 10 2020

Matichon reports that, early in the morning, Bangkok time, Parit Chiwarak and Arnon Nampa have been arrested.

Update 1: The Guardian reports that Arnon and Panupong Jadnok have been arrested; the report does not refer to Parit. That report also states:

Thailand’s government has banned gatherings of five or more people and the publication of news or online messages that could harm national security early on Thursday under an emergency decree to end Bangkok street protests….

“It is extremely necessary to introduce an urgent measure to end this situation effectively and promptly to maintain peace and order,” state television announced.

This declaration was made at 4am in Bangkok. It seeks to “ban big gatherings and allowing authorities to ban people from entering any area they designation.” In addition, it prohibits “publication of news, other media, and electronic information that contains messages that could create fear or intentionally distort information, creating misunderstanding that will affect national security or peace and order.”

Update 2: The Bangkok Post reproduces the above Reuters report.

Update 3: Prachatai reports movements of police riot squads and troops. It says that at “05.48 … at least 7 people reportedly [had been]… arrested.” They included Arnon, Parit, Panupong and Prasit Karutarote.

Update 4: Social media reports are that soldiers have closed parliament. Police are currently surrounding the Rajaprasong intersection (3pm) anticipating another demonstration. Plenty of people milling around after the students called for supporters to show up. Protest leaders there now facing off with police, using white bows. Social media reports that Panupong has not been captured. Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul has been arrested. With more than 20 now arrested, some are being transferred to Chiang Mai, and students there are organizing.

Update 5: Back at Rajaprasong, chanting continues, demanding the release of those arrested and the ouster of Prayuth.

Update 6: There so much going on that it is impossible to do more than watch it. Various online broadcasters are livestreaming the huge rally at Rajaprasong. Commentators say the crowd extends to from the Rajaprasong intersection to Pratunam and Paragon. The rally is a direct challenge to the regime’s declaration of a state of emergency. Students in uniform everywhere. This is a young crowd, sitting down peacefully waiting and listening. More than that, they are participating in a remarkable series of events over just more than 24 hours.

It is remarkable to hear them abuse the king, something only done privately a couple of months ago or on social media (with the associated risk of arrest).

The arrest of the movement’s most recognized leaders has had no impact. Other leaders mushroom, having cut their teeth in the many smaller demonstrations across the country in recent months.

What happens next? The next step is probably the regime’s. What does it do in the face of mass disobedience?

What’s the future for the monarchy? That depends on what happens next, but social media says the king and his family have decamped to a palace in Sakon Nakhon. (The last big change in government system came in 1932, when the king was an absolute monarch and he holidaying and golfing in Hua Hin.) Is it the beginning of the end?

Update 7: The rally ended without major incident, with a promise to come back together on Friday. Meanwhile, the regime is using the emergency decree to refuse bail for those arrested and it goes after others.



2 responses

15 10 2020

Can you link a live stream of the protest at Rajaprasong?

15 10 2020

Sorry, we are technical dolts. Our suggestion is to use YouTube and look for Voice TV live.

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