Rally ends early: "Dirty govt tactics", leaders complain (updated)

Rally ends early: "Dirty govt tactics", leaders complain (updated)

Even before the Pitak Siam rally began, thousands of rally-goers were blocked by police from entering the Royal Plaza area and, in a brief confrontation, tear gas was used against them. Leaders complain the government failed to live up to agreements and have now called off the rally.

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A bird's-eye view of the crowd at the Royal Plaza early this afternoon. SITHIKORN WONGWUDTHIANUN

17:45  A short time ago, Pitak Siam leader Gen Boonlert Kaewprasit (Seh Ai) went on stage and announced that the rally was ending immediately. He said he was sorry that the government did not follow through on agreements to allow their peacefully rally to take place unhindered. Other speakers said the government had consistently worked to prevent the rally for succeeding, even cutting off water to the toilets. Most importantly, it had blocked many supporters from coming to the rally, especially from upcountry. A lawyer from the group promised he would to the sue the government in the Administrative Court for its illegal actions.

unhindered – not stopped or prevented from doing something ไม่ถูกขัดขวาง
consistently – continuously; happening again and again in the same way  อย่างต่อเนื่อง
block – to stop someone/ something from moving through or along something else  ปิดกั้น, กีดขวาง
sue – to take legal action against a person or organisation, especially by making a legal claim for money because of some harm that they have caused you ฟ้องร้อง
Administrative Court – the court which deals with disputes between the private sector and government agencies ศาลปกครอง

16:00 The rally site at the Royal Plaza is still calm with an estimated crowd of only about 10-15,000 people. A tense standoff was continuing near the Makkawan Bridge, however. Tear gas has been used a second time to keep protestors from breaching police lines. 

tense – making you feel nervous or worried ทำให้เครียด
stand-off – a disagreement or fight in which it is difficult for side to do anything
breach – to break through or over something ข้าม, ทำให้แตก

12:50 The Pitak Siam rally is continuing normally. There have been no new violent incidents after the brief confrontation and use tear gas just before it opened. The crowd has not yet reached the 50,000 minimum Gen Boonlert Kaewprasit had suggested was necessary to continue the rally, but he says that is due to blockages which have delayed arrivals. So the rally continues.

Part of the crowd attempting to reach the rally site. KITJA APICHONROJAREK.

Here is the police side of the story from this morning as reported by the Bangkok Post:

"Tear gas was used in one area because protesters did not comply with the rules," said national police spokesman Pol Maj Gen Piya Uthayo.

Three people, including one police officer, were taken to hospital because of the effects of the tear gas, while several others received first aid at the site, according to the Erawan emergency centre.

Police decided to fire the CS tear gas after the demonstrators tried to break through barricades at the Makkawan bridge on Ratchadamnoen Avenue, TNN reported.

The government did not allow protesters to go to the rally site at the Royal Plaza from Makkawan, where security forces set up a barricade, but But the protesters ignored the ban, prompting anti-riot police to use tear gas.

A map of the Pitak Siam rally area.

violent – involving or caused by physical force that is intended to hurt or kill somebody รุนแรง, ร้ายแรง, สาหัส
incident – something that happens, usually something bad เหตุการณ์
confrontation – a situation in which people or groups are arguing angrily or are fighting การเผชิญหน้า
tear gas – a gas used by some police and armed forces to control crowds of people. It hurts the eyes and makes them produce tears ก๊าซน้ำตา
minimum – the lowest possible; the lowest allowed ต่ำที่สุด, น้อยที่สุด
blockage – a thing that blocks flow or movement การปิดกั้น, การปิดล้อม, การขัดขวาง
rally site – a place where a large public gathering happens สถานที่ชุมนุม
comply – to obey a rule or law or do what someone asks you to do  ปฏิบัติตาม (กฎหมาย, ข้อเสนอ, etc.)
first aid – simple medical treatment that is given to somebody before a doctor comes or before the person can be taken to a hospital การปฐมพยาบาล
emergency – an unexpected situation involving danger in which immediate action is necessary เหตุฉุกเฉิน
demonstrators – people who march with other people in public to show that they support or oppose something ผู้ชุมนุมประท้วง
ignore – to intentionally not listen or give attention to ทำเพิกเฉย
ban – an official statement ordering people not to do, sell or use something การห้าม
prompt – to cause someone to take action กระตุ้น
riot – a violent protest การจลาจล

10:50  Things have calmed considerably.  The rally is continuing normally at the Royal Plaza although video footage has been shown to the crowd of the tear gas incident and the injuries that occurred as a result. Pitak Siam leader Gen. Boonlert Kaewprasit was just interviewed on stage. He said that it was time for PM Yingluck to resign. He said police should understand that they were all Thais and behave appropriately. He said former PM Thaksin could come home if he pledged loyalty to the King and spent some time in jail. As for Army chief, Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, he say he would not comment.

footage – film or video of a particular subject or event ฟิลม์หรือคลิปภาพยนตร์ หรือวิดีโอ
incident – something that happens, usually something bad เหตุการณ์
resign – to leave a job permanently ลาออกจากตำแหน่ง
appropriate – suitable or right for a particular situation or purpose  à¸—ี่เหมาะสม
pledge – to make a serious promise สัญญา
loyalty – support that you always give to someone or something because of your feelings of duty and love towards them  à¸„วามจงรักภักดี

Pitak Siam protesters react to tear gas in this morning's brief confrontation with police. CHANAT KATANYU

Routes to rally obstructed, tear gas used

9:30 Even before the rally began, thousands of rallygoers were blocked by police from entering the Royal Plaza area. When the protesters persisted in trying to force their way in, tear gas was used, angering the protesters. It is not clear what will happen next. Few, if any, routes seem to be open to protesters.

The rally site itself was reported to be calm with leaders meeting to decide what to do next.

Here is a segment from the Bangkok Post’s morning story:

Crowd-control police fall into line formation on Ratchadamnoen Nok Avenue as they rehearse their response in the event protesters try to break through barricades. CHANAT KATANYU

formation – a particular arrangement or pattern แนว, ,แถว, การก่อรูป
rehearse – to practise something you are going to do or say ซ้อม
in the event – if; if something happens ถ้ามีบางสิ่งเกิดขึ้น
protester – someone who shows that they disagree with something by standing somewhere, shouting, carrying signs, etc  ผู้ต่อต้าน, ผู้ประท้วง
barricade – a temporary structure built to prevent someone/something from getting past แผงหรือแนวรั้วกั้น

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20,000 police, troops go on alert

Boonlert expects ISA will boost Pitak Siam crowd

More than 20,000 police and soldiers will be mobilised to enforce security across the capital Saturday against anti-government protesters rallying under the anti-government Pitak Siam group.

Police estimate that up to 76,000 protesters could turn up for the rally at the Royal Plaza today, although Pitak Siam members downplayed the estimate as well as government fears that the protest could turn violent.

One Pitak Siam member said the enactment of the Internal Security Act (ISA) on Thursday by the government will curb the number of protesters who can reach the rally site, particularly those coming from upcountry.

Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung checks out police preparations yesterday KITJA APICHONROJAREK.

"[The government] has set up checkpoints along the major highways to Bangkok, and so many caravans have been delayed in travelling to the capital," the member said, adding that the group has discussed whether to relocate the protest.

But retired Gen Boonlert Kaewprasit, the leader of the Pitak Siam group, decided against any change to the rally plans, and told members the aggressive moves made by the government against the protest would actually spur public support for the movement.

Police display three types of tear gas which they say are in line with international standards, along with other crowd control equipment, as they explain crowd dispersal procedures ahead of today’s Pitak Siam rally. APICHIT JINAKUL

Thousands of police equipped with batons and shields took up posts around the Royal Plaza yesterday as rally organisers moved to set up a stage for the protest. Roads in the area were closed as part of a campaign to deter protesters from reaching the site, resulting in traffic jams across the city.

National police chief Adul Saengsingkaew, as director of the Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order, issued an order banning protesters from entering Government House and parliament, as well as closing nine routes around the rally site.

A second order bans vehicles on the nine routes, including portions of Ratchadamnoen Nok, Luk Luang, Rama V and Phitsanulok roads as well as vehicles carrying fuel or parking in restricted areas. A third order prohibits the possession in public of weapons or objects that could be used as weapons.

block – to stop someone/ something from moving through or along something else  à¸›à¸´à¸”กั้น, กีดขวาง
persisted - tried to do or continue doing something in a determined but often unreasonable way ยืนกราน
tear gas – a gas used by some police and armed forces to control crowds of people. It hurts the eyes and makes them produce tears ก๊าซน้ำตา
route – the roads used to go from one place to another เส้นทาง
troops – soldiers, especially in large numbers กองทหาร
on alert – ready to deal with a dangerous situation เตรียมพร้อม อย่างเต็มที่
Internal Security Act – a special law which allows the country's top security agency, the Internal Security Operations Command, to impose curfews, operate checkpoints and restrict the movement of demonstrators Under the act, the military has the authority to search protesters for weapons and use force in case of any violence. พรบ.ความมั่นคง
boost – something that helps or encourages somebody/something สิ่งกระตุ้น
mobilise – (of soldiers, police or other groups of people) to prepare to do something such as fight a war  เตรียมกำลังพร้อมรบ
enforce – to make sure laws are obeyed บังคับให้ใช้,  บังคับให้ทำ, ใช้กำลังบังคับให้ปฏิบัติตาม
security – protection; safety from attack, harm, or damage ความมั่นคง, ระบบรักษาความปลอดภั, ความปลอดภัย
capital – the most important town or city of a country, usually where the central government operates from  เมืองหลวง
rally – to join a public meeting that a lot of people go to in order to support someone or protest against someone or something ชุมนุม
estimate – to say what you think an amount or value is or will be, either by using available information or by guessing คาดคะเน
turn up – to come somewhere มาถึง
downplay – to make something seem less important or less bad than it really is แสดงหรืออธิบายถึงสิ่งใดสิ่งหนึ่งโดยแสร้งว่าไม่สำคัญหรือไม่แย่นัก
violent – involving the use of physical force, with the intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people รุนแรง
enact – to use a rule or law as a reason or basis for doing something ประกาศใช้ (กฎหมาย), อ้าง (กฎหมาย)
curb – to control or limit something  ระงับ, ควบคุม
rally site – a place where a large public gathering happens สถานที่ชุมนุม
particularly – especially, or more than usual โดยเฉพาะ
caravan – a group of people with vehicles or animals who travel together กลุ่มคนเดินทาง
delay – to do something later than is planned or expected เลื่อนเวลา
relocate – to move someone or something to another place โยกย้ายประชาชนออกจากบริเวณ
retired – no longer working because you have reached the age where you are officially too old to work เกษียณอายุ
aggressive – determined to win or succeed ก้าวร้าว
spur – to cause something to happen ก่อให้เกิด
movement – a group of people who share the same aim and work together to achieve it การเคลื่อนไหวเพื่อวัตถุประสงค์ทางการเมือง
display – to put something in a particular place so that people can see it easily  โชว์, แสดง
tear gas – a gas used by some police and armed forces to control crowds of people. It hurts the eyes and makes them produce tears ก๊าซน้ำตา
in line with – similar to or corresponding with another thing สอดคล้องกับ
standards – a level of quality that is normal or acceptable for a particular person or in a particular situation มาตรฐาน, บรรทัดฐาน
dispersal – (of a crowd of people) the process of causing to separate and leave in different directions  การสลายฝูงชน
procedure – a way of doing something  ขั้นตอนการดำเนินการ
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
post – the place where somebody, especially soldiers, does their job ที่มั่น
stage – a raised area, usually in a theatre, etc. where actors, dancers, etc. perform  เวที
campaign – a planned group of especially political, business or military activities which are intended to achieve a particular aim การรณรงค์
deter – to make someone decide not to do something ขัดขวาง, ยับยั้ง, ป้องกัน
issue – to announce something officially ออกประกาศ
ban – to officially say that someone is not allowed to do something   ห้ามอย่างเป็นทางการ
route – the roads used to go from one place to another เส้นทาง
portion – a part of something ส่วน
restricted – limited or controlled ซึ่งถูกยับยั้ง, ซึ่งถูกควบคุม
prohibit – to not allow; to ban ห้าม
possession – having or owning something การครอบครอง
weapon – an object such as a knife, gun, bomb, etc. that is used for fighting or attacking somebody อาวุธ

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