Small clashes took place in Bangkok on Wednesday between pro-monarchy demonstrators and state officials and student-led demonstrators.
Anti-government protests have taken place throughout the country for the past three months with student protesters calling for the removal of the Prayut Chan-ocha government and a rewriting of the military-drafted constitution.
A major rally is taking place on Wednesday with rallygoers planning to march onto government house to press their demands.
The protesters have previously called into question the role of Thailand’s once-sacred monarchy in politics and have called for reform of the royal institution.
The government and state security officials were seen bussing in royalist supporters on Wednesday morning into the same area where pro-democracy protesters were scheduled to hold their rallies.
The royalist group walks within a few feet of the protesters in a deliberate show of force and to intimidate.— Thai Enquirer (@ThaiEnquirer) October 14, 2020
Police do nothing. #ม็อบ14ตุลา #14ตุลา #whatshappeninginthailand pic.twitter.com/fXJcGGOk53
With the two groups in close proximity, several small scuffles broke out between the rival protesters before police officers moved in to separate the two sides.
Royalist supporters spoken to by Thai Enquirer said that they were employed by various state enterprises or were part of the security operations.
They said they were there voluntarily to receive a royal motorcade due in the area at 5 pm.