Anti-government demonstrators have relocated their protest on Wednesday, November 25, to the Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) headquarters in Bangkok's Chatuchak district at 15:00 (local time) instead of the earlier planned Crown Property Bureau in Dusit district. According to organizers of the event, the protest was moved in response to the earlier announcement made by police in Bangkok that thousands of officers will be deployed to control the planned opposition protest at the Crown Property Bureau in the capital. Fences and razor wire barricades were erected around the site ahead of the demonstration as authorities placed a 150m (450ft) cordon around the site, and police have stated that the measure will be vigorously enforced. As well as thousands of opposition activists calling for reforms to the monarchy and the reversal of legislation giving the king personal control of royal funds, royalist groups have also announced their intention to stage large-scale counter-demonstrations in the area on Wednesday. The pro-royalist groups will reportedly still be staging their demonstration at the Crown Property Bureau, although no timings have been announced.
Tensions have been increasing ahead of the protests after seven prominent anti-government activists were summoned to face lese majeste charges, the first to be brought since the beginning of the campaign which has challenged the country's powerful monarchy.
Significant disruptions associated with the demonstrations and the associated security forces presence are likely around the Crown Property Bureau and the SCB headquarters, as well as in other areas of Bangkok on Wednesday. Whilst the protests are intended to be peaceful, there remains a realistic possibility of clashes between demonstrators and police, as well as between rival groups of activists.
Public opposition has grown against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha in recent months 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 the situation, anticipate transportation disruptions, avoid protests or demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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