Marchers shrug off police warning, rally at Democracy Monument

Marchers shrug off police warning, rally at Democracy Monument

Protesters occupy Democracy Monument in a rally calling for democracy on Sunday. (Photo by Varuth Hirunyatheb)
Protesters occupy Democracy Monument in a rally calling for democracy on Sunday. (Photo by Varuth Hirunyatheb)

Hundreds of demonstrators rallied at Democracy Monument on Sunday in defiance of a police warning that the gathering would breach the emergency decree.

Members of the People Go network converged at the political landmark on Ratchadamnoen Avenue to demand democracy and freedom for four protest leaders detained at Bangkok Remand Prison.

They are Arnon Nampa, Parit "Penguin" Chiwarak, Somyos Prueksakasemsuk and Patiwat “Mor Lam Bank” Saraiyaem, who were denied bail after being charged with lese-majeste under Section 112 of the Criminal  Code. 

"We are not fighting the police deployed in front of us. We are fighting against dictatorship," Jatupat Boonpattararaksa, better known as Pai Dao Din, announced at the rally site.

He led the group on their 250-kilometre trek from Nakhon Ratchasima to Bangkok. On Saturday, the marchers arrived at Kasetsart University. On Sunday, the 17th day, they walked the final 15km to the monument.

Jatupat Boonpattararaksa, also known as Pai Dao Din, flashes a three-finger salute as he leads the march to Democracy Monument. (Photo by Varuth Hirunyatheb)

Pol Col Tossaphol Ampaipipatkul, the Samran Rat police station chief, and his counterpart at Chana Songkhram police station, Pol Col Sanong Sanemaee, read out an announcement saying the rally was in breach of the decree.

Mr Jatupat insisted on holding the rally and setting up a stage at the rally site, despite an order from police to disperse. He pledged the assembly would remain peaceful throughout.

It was the second rally in two days by pro-democracy activists after four demonstrations on Saturday.

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