Bangkok governor sets MET does not support violence, will try to find neutral site for demonstrations

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Bangkok’s governor said on Tuesday that the city’s administration does not support violence of any kind and they will arrange an area for any groups to use as a protest site.

“We have to provide safety for protesters from all sides, including bystanders…and we are looking for an area where people can go to protest in accordance with the Public Assembly Act,” he said during the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s meeting (BMA).

“We do not support any kind of violence and this is a clear policy of the BMA,” he said.

Chadchart said the area will be an option for protesters from all sides and the city will not force any of them to go and protest there. He did not provide details on where it would be.

He said the people have a right to assembly but he also urged both protesters and police officers to avoid using violence.

He said that the city will arrange for a medical unit at future protest sites to provide healthcare for both protesters and officers.

Chadchart was referring to the confrontation between pro-democracy protesters and the crowd-control police in Din Daeng which has been occurring every night since Saturday.

A police vehicle was set on fire before it was put out by bystanders. Several protesters, including freelance journalists, were arrested on Saturday and Sunday.

The confrontations involved the throwing of projectiles and firecrackers by the protesters and the police using tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon trucks.

The police said pipe bombs and ping-pong were also being used by protesters but the majority are still firecrackers. Human rights groups are also calling for the police to follow international standards when comes to the use of tear gas and rubber bullets.

Thalugaz, one of the active protest groups which consist mostly of vocational school students, called for another protest at Sam Liam Din Daeng Junction on Tuesday at 6 pm.

The protesters at Din Daeng are demanding for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha’s resignation and the release of political prisoners who are in pretrial detention.

Feature photo via Thalugaz

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