Several thousand anti-government activists gathered near Parliament in Bangkok on Wednesday, November 18. The rally comes after clashes between anti-government demonstrators and police in Bangkok resulted in at least 55 people injured on Tuesday, November 17. Riot police on Tuesday fired water cannon and tear gas at demonstrators in attempts to disperse them. Pro-democracy activists called for the rally at Ratchaprasong intersection from 16:00 (local time) following the violent rallies. Both royalist and pro-democracy demonstrators were expected outside parliament. Media sources indicate that protesters on Wednesday brought along inflatable ducks to use as shields against police water cannon and tear gas. There have been no immediate reports of clashes outside parliament. Additional protesters gathered outside the police headquarters in Bangkok and reportedly sprayed water into the police headquarters. Police were inside but made no immediate attempt to stop the demonstration.
Further associated demonstrations should be anticipated, especially in the vicinity of the parliament, and other areas of the capital in the near term. A heightened security presence is expected in the vicinity of all demonstrations and clashes between security forces and protesters cannot be ruled out.
Public opposition has grown against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha over government spending, the dissolution of an opposition party, and many other factors. Activists have also called for reforms to the powers of the monarchy. Protests on an increasing scale have been held in Bangkok and other locations across Thailand in recent months. Counter protests have also been held, particularly in support of the monarchy.
Those in Bangkok are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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