The Royal Thai Police, the army, and a group of special ‘volunteers’ will coordinate to block protesters from gathering in downtown Bangkok on Thursday ahead of a planned rally, sources told Thai Enquirer.
The protesters are rallying despite government orders to not do so, with the government threatening all potential rally-goers with arrest and detention under a emergency decree enacted Thursday morning.
Police have warned protesters that just advocating for others to go to the rally could result in jail time.
Despite these warnings, protesters say they will hold a rally against the government’s crackdown against protest-leaders in the early hours of Thursday and against the Prayut Chan-ocha government for stiffling the democratic movement in Thailand and for its close ties to the military.
Security forces are under strict orders by the government to not let the protests go ahead, according to a senior Thai police official who asked to not be named.
“The government has asked us to coordinate with the military and government ‘volunteers’ to not led the protest go ahead, so soldiers and police will be setting up roadblock and monitoring the situation,” the source told Thai Enquirer.
It is unclear who the volunteers are at this point in time.
Counter-protests organized by the government on Wednesday in the same area as pro-democracy protests led to small clashes between royalist forces and the student-led protesters.
The counter-protesters were bussed in by the government and were off-duty military personnel, police, and royalist volunteers.