On Sunday, a confrontation between pro-democracy protesters and police officers turned ugly, with several injuries and arrests following a protest in front of the 1st Infantry Regiment barracks, King’s Guard.
According to the Special Branch Bureau, about 1,500 young protesters under the REDEM (Restart Democracy) banner, began converging at Victory Monument at 3 pm before marching to the 1st Infantry Regiment barracks, King’s Guard, on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road, where Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s residence is located.
REDEM is the latest reincarnation of the Free Youth group that had rallied against the government and campaigned for monarchy reform.
Over 2,000 anti-riot officers from the Metropolitan Police Bureau were deployed to counter, and barricades were set up to block protesters from approaching the prime minister’s residence.
The situation took a turn for the worse about 6.30 pm when the protesters clashed with the police.
Police deploying tear gas and water cannons against the protesters, who continued to throw objects at the officers.
Police officers shot rubber bullets at the protesters during the clash.
The police have not come out with an explanation for the use of rubber bullets on protesters, although sources close to the matter said an official briefing can be expected today.
That said, Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) deputy commissioner Piya Tawichai insisted that police did not fire tear gas or water cannons at the protesters.
The deputy MPB chief added that the protests have become more violent with some of the protesters carrying weapons and vandalising government properties, referring to the rallies in front of Parliament House and Kiak Kai Junction.