Protesters took over Bangkok’s Victory Monument yesterday at 5pm, raising signs and chanting to express their displeasure at the army’s coup d’etat a few days earlier.
The demonstration caused the temporary closure of three BTS stations and several roads in the afternoon, but despite a few tossed water bottles and lots of angry words, it was generally free of violence from what we could see.
Protesters were surrounded by armed officers, with the police up front and soldiers standing behind. Army trucks and fire trucks were brought in to prepare for the situation while the Victory Monument skywalk was crowded with protesters and locals who observed the scene.
Everyone seemed to have a different political view but share a common disapproval of the coup, according to the messages on their signs.
For photos of the anti-coup demonstration at Rajaprasong on Sunday, check out the slideshow below.
An officer behind the loudspeaker – we could not tell whether he was a soldier or police – seemed to be purposefully annoying the protesters. He said that they were only protesting because they were bribed and called out the international media for supposedly ruining the country’s image. He also said everybody should give the coup a chance to fix the country’s prolonged political conflicts.
There was yelling and booing from throughout the area in response to the man, every time he went on the loudspeaker.
After 6pm, the loudspeaker asked the protesters to leave and allow traffic back on the roads. The protesters seemed to resist at first but then very quickly they left, and only police, soldiers, press, and non-protesting pedestrians remained. Out of nowhere, there was one single protester who showed up to the party late with a sign in his hand.
“You are late. Did you get stuck in traffic? You can come back tomorrow, ” the loudspeaker said directly to the man.
“The protesters have gone now. You can come back tomorrow. Goodbye,” the loudspeaker announced in English to the journalists on the field, most of whom were foreigners.
As usual, #SelfieCoup with police and soldier happened with great frequency at the scene.
Watch the Coconuts TV report on yesterday’s anti-coup protest here.