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Toilet war

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A major battle seemed likely before dawn yesterday as a 1,200-strong police force moved in. Their mission was to protect City Hall staff as they removed toilets installed by the PAD. 

Supporters of the yellow shirt People’s Alliance for Democracy stand guard to protect their rally site near Government House PATTANAPONG HIRUNARD

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Toilet war

A major battle seemed likely before dawn yesterday in the Ratchadamoen Avenue area as a 1,200-strong police force moved into place.

Among them were three companies of border patrol police, equipped with bullet-proof vests, batons and shields. Their mission was to provide protection for City Hall staff to remove all 48 makeshift toilets installed by the People's Alliance for Democracy near the Education Ministry headquarters for its protest site on Makkhawan Rangsan bridge.

The city workers had been trying without success to remove the toilets, but this time it was supposed to be different.

The police force began approaching the protest site at about 5 am, causing panic among the group's members, most of them middle-aged women.

As the border patrol police neared the back stage of the PAD, angry demonstrators moved in metal barriers to stop them.

PAD speakers went up on the stage and called for backup from PAD sympathisers who were watching the live broadcast of the demonstration on TV.

At 6.30am, more PAD supporters turned up to join their fellow protesters but were blocked by the police. No clashes were reported.

Two police officers were slightly injured by bottles and other objects hurled by some protesters, police spokesman Piya Uthayo said. Police are checking security camera footage to take legal action against the culprits.

Pol Maj Gen Piya said the police were not demanding that the protesters vacate their rally site completely.

But they were asking protesters to unblock part of the road to allow vendors to set up their stalls for the Red Cross Fair which is due to begin on March 30.

Metropolitan Police Division 1 chief Wichai Sungprapai was sent to talk with two PAD core leaders, Chamlong Srimuang and Pathompong Kesornsook, at about 9am. They refused to comply with the officer's request.

The toilets are still there.
Adapted from a story in today’s Bangkok Post

People’s Alliance for Democracy – the union of several groups protesting against the past government and which staged large protests against the Thaksin government as well พันธมิตรประชาชนเพื่อประชาธิปไตย 
rally site – a place where a large public gathering happens สถานที่ชุมนุม
major – very large or important สำคัญมาก
battle – a fight, especially between two armies in a war การสู้รบ
likely – probable or expected น่าจะเป็นไปได้
dawn – the beginning of the day, when it begins to get light รุ่งอรุณ, เช้าตรู่
force – a group of people who have been trained to protect other people, usually by using weapons กองกำลัง,กองทัพ
border – the official line separating two areas, regions or countries  เขตแดน อาณาเขต
border patrol – the police who work in border areas of a country ตำรวจตระเวนชายแดน
bullet-proof – that can stop bullets from passing through it กันกระสุน,ลูกกระสุนยิงไม่เข้า
vest – a covering for the top part of your body
baton – a stick used as a weapon by a police officer or soldier ตะบอง
shield – an object that police officers carry in order to protect themselves เกราะ
mission - an important job, especially a military one, that someone is sent somewhere to do งาน
protect – making sure that somebody/something is not harmed, injured, damaged, etc การป้องกัน, การอารักขา, การคุ้มกัน
City Hall – the city government; the council members and officials who manage a city สถานที่ราชการส่วนท้องถิ่น, กรุงเทพมหานคร
makeshift – using whatever is available and therefore not very good   สำหรับใช้ชั่วคราว, ใช้ประทังไปก่อน
install – to put a piece of equipment somewhere and make it ready for use ติดตั้ง
headquarters – the place where an organisation or company has its main offices สำนักงานใหญ่ กองบัญชาการ
protest – a meeting or rally, sometimes forceful or violent, of people who strongly disagree with something ชุมนุมประท้วง
approach – to move closer to someone or something เข้าใกล้
panic – to have a sudden strong feeling of fear or worry that causes you to be unable to think clearly or calmly ความตื่นตกใจ
stage – a raised area, usually in a theatre, etc. where actors, dancers, etc. perform  เวที
demonstrators – people who march with other people in public to show that they support or oppose something ผู้ชุมนุมประท้วง
barrier – an object like a fence or wall that prevents people from moving forward from one place to another สิ่งขัดขวาง, กำแพง
backup – people or equipment that can be used when extra help is needed สำรอง
sympathiser – someone who approves of and supports someone or something ผู้สนับสนุน, ผู้เห็นอกเห็นใจ
live broadcast – a programme that can be seen or heard on television or radio at this time โปรแกรมที่มีการถ่ายทอดสด
block – to stop someone or something from moving through or along something else  ปิดกั้น, กีดขวาง
clash – a brief fight between two or more people การปะทะกันสองฝ่าย
slightly – small in size or amount เล็กน้อย
injured – hurt in an accident or attack ซึ่งได้รับบาดเจ็บ
hurl – to throw something using a lot of force  เขวี้ยง ขว้างปา
footage – film or video of a particular subject or event ฟิลม์หรือคลิปภาพยนตร์ หรือวิดีโอ
legal – relating to the law or lawyers เกี่ยวกับกฎหมาย
culprit – someone who has done something wrong ผู้กระทำความผิด
vacate – to leave a place ออกจาก, ออกไปจาก, ย้ายออก
vendor – someone who sells something, but not in a shop พ่อค้าแม่ค้าแผงลอย
stall – a large table or a small building that is open at the front, used for selling things (or for giving people information) รถ หรือแผงขายของ
due – expected to happen or should happen มีกำหนด
metropolitan police – the police in responsible for a city ตำรวจนครบาล
core leader – one of the most active or most important leaders of a group แกนนำ
comply – to obey a rule or law or do what someone asks you to do  ปฏิบัติตาม (กฎหมาย, ข้อเสนอ, etc.)
request – an act of asking for something in a formal or polite way การขอร้อง

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