Saturday, November 24, 2012

The clash at Makkawan Bridge

The anti-government rally today got off to a violent start when police used tear-gas to disperse the protesters who insisted on breaking the police barriers to get to the rally site at the Royal Plaza.
Later in the afternoon, "Seh Aye" Gen Boonlert Kaewprasit, leader of Pitak Siam Group, declared on stage: "I am ready to die if I can't bring down this government with this rally."
Protestors clashed with police in the morning when tear-gas was fired. Police claimed that they had been "provoked" by the demonstrators who had fired tea-gas first.
Gen Boonlert charged that police had "over-reacted" and had unnecessarily resorted to the use of tear-gas.
Police said they had cordoned off areas near Makkawan Bridge to prevent the protesters from trying to get near Government House and Parliament Buildings.
Protestors used a truck to ram through the police barriers, forcing a violent confrontation between police and the demonstrators. Police at one point picked up about 100 protestors including a television cameraman and put them in a police truck.
Later in the afternoon, a new clash took place when the protestors at Royal Plaza asked police to clear the way for them to march to join force with demonstrators at Missakwan Intersection. Police pushed back the protestors and fired tear-gas when they resisted.
Red-shirt leader Thida Tavornseth went on Asia Update Channel to plead with red-shirt members to stay put and wait for signals from her, Nattawut Saikua and Jatuporn Prompan before making any move.
Premier Yingluck Shinawatra cancelled all her functions and stayed home to monitor the tense situation.
Sen Aye called off the rally at around 5.30 pm. He said the rally had failed to attract his target of one million people and he didn't want the protestors to be harmed. "See you again when the nation needs you! Goodbye for now."

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