Democrat-led rally relocates to Democracy Monument

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BANGKOK, Nov 4 – Democrat MP Suthep Thaugsuban declared today that demonstrators against the Amnesty Bill would permanently move today from Samsen railway station to the Democracy Monument on Rajdamnoen Avenue.

He said protesters would not leave the new rally site until they won in the battle against the controversial bill seeking a blanket amnesty for offenders in corruption and criminal cases.

The relocation to the Democracy Monument was announced without prior notice as demonstrators arrived at the avenue from the Emerald Buddha Temple.

The Democrat-assisted protesters marched in the morning from Samsen – the venue of a mass rally during the last four days – to Sanam Luang to pay homage to the Emerald Buddha and then continued along Rajdamnoen Avenue to the Democracy Monument.

Mr Suthep’s announcement surprised some demonstrators who initially thought they would march back to Samsen to continue their demonstration.

A new stage will be built and power-generating trucks were promptly moved from Samsen to Rajdamnoen to facilitate tonight’s rally.

Deputy Prime Minister Pracha Promnok said police were ready to provide conveniences to demonstrators as long as they abide by the law.

He said the Internal Security Act, already imposed in three districts around significant state buildings including Government House and Parliament, would not be extended to cover other areas although police have received reports of an accumulating number of protesters.

“The government is not concerned (with the protests). It is the duty of the legislative branch to issue the bill while the government is in charge of administration,” he said.

He did not reply when asked if the government would be ready to trade its stability for the attempted promulgation of the Amnesty Bill.

Earlier in the day, the business district of Silom – linked with nearby Sathorn and dubbed Bangkok’s “Wall Street” – was crowded with white-collar protesters who swarmed both sides of the road to lash out at the government and Parliament for trying to ram through the Amnesty Bill, now pending the Senate deliberations.

They simultaneously blew whistles at 12.30 pm as a symbolic act to kick off the protests, from midday into the early afternoon, when it dispersed. (MCOT online news)