Hundreds of Thai troops and police sealed off a busy Bangkok intersection on Thursday in an attempt to block a planned protest one week after a military coup. Police arrested some anti-coup protesters, including a Belgian national. (May 30)
AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY
Bangkok - May 29, 2014
1. Various of line of Thai soldiers with shields waiting at Victory Monument, on look out for anti-coup protesters
2. Wide of people walking as line of troops passes them
3. Various of police officers asking people to produce their identification cards
4. Mid of woman holding up sign reading (English): "No Coup" at anti-coup protest at Thammasat University
5. Wide pan from line of soldiers to Belgian national wearing T-shirt reading (English): "Peace Please", tilt to his face
6. Various of plain clothes police leading man away and putting him in police vehicle
7. Tight of Thai woman holding sign reading (English): "Prayudh Get Out" (referring to General Prayuth Chan-Ocha, coup leader)
8. Mid of plain clothes police moving in and arresting women
9. Wide of two female protesters in police vehicle, elderly woman raises her fist in defiance
Hundreds of Thai troops and police sealed off one of Bangkok's busiest intersections on Thursday in an attempt to block a planned protest one week after a military coup.
Truckloads of soldiers blocked all incoming roads to the capital's Victory Monument, prompting shops in the normally congested area to close amid concerns of a crackdown on anti-coup protesters who have come out almost daily to defy a ban on political gatherings.
The army want to prevent demonstrators gathering in defiance of a ban on political gatherings of more than five people. The demonstrations have been generally small and mostly leaderless but protesters planned to gather again Thursday and called for a mass rally on Sunday.
The army says it had to act to restore order after seven months of increasingly violent political turbulence.Thai authorities arrested a Belgian man for holding up a T-shirt bearing the words "Peace Please" on Thursday. Plain clothes police moved in as he stood near to where hundreds of troops were sealing off a busy transport hub to prevent anti-coup protesters using it as a rally site.
Under rules introduced to prevent public dissent, anyone criticizing last week's coup can be jailed for up to two years. Two Thai women were also arrested for holding up hand-written signs against the coup leader General Prayuth Chan-Ocha. He warned on Monday that he would not tolerate any further public protests.
Today's massing of soldiers and police was the first real attempt since then to stifle the small but persistent demonstrations.