BANGKOK – Several hundreds of anti coup protesters took to the streets of Bangkok today marching from Major Ratchayothin to the Victory Monument demanding the return of civilian rule to the country immediately.
It was the first political rally after the power seizure by the National Peace and Order Maintaining Council, and a blatant defiance of the ban by the military junta of political assembly of more than five people.
The protesters first converged at Major Ratchayothin theatre on Phaholyothin before noon.
Their appearance immediately drew anti riot police out to form a defence line confronting the protesters and telling them to disperse reasoning the gathering is against the martial law.
But protesters, holding placards and posters attacking the military take over and demanding it to return democracy to the people immediately.
As tension escalated, troops with riot control gears also were called in to help the police maintain order.
As the two sides were confronting each other, one woman emerged among the protesters holding a placard which reads “Support Coup” and also drew out a whistle to blow.
Her bold action angered the protesters who tried to assault her. But she was later escorted out of the crowd by police.
After gathering enough supporters the protesters then tried to move out to new location to hold rally at the Victory Monument but were blocked on Phaholyothin road by troops.
Tense confrontation rose again and protesters began shouting abuses on troops and push and pull broke out.
Troops were replaced by police and later protesters were able to march out along Phaholyothin road to the Victory Monument.