Today, the People’s Alliance for Democracy has used their so-called “starburst” strategy by besieging various government agencies in Bangkok with a massive number of supporters from across the country.
This morning, the People’s Alliance for Democracy or PAD embarked on what it claims to be its final showdown, after calling on its supporters across the country to come join them at Government House.
At around 5.30am, PAD supporters started to gather at Misakawan Intersection to wait and see where the rally would take them. Some of the state agencies targeted by the PAD included Parliament, the temporary government seat at Donmuang Airport, the Finance Ministry, the Stock Exchange of Thailand, the Metropolitan Police Bureau, the National Police Office, and the residences of key cabinet members. PAD core leader Sondhi Limthongkul then revealed that the protest would move to Parliament first before separating to gather in other areas.
By 7.30am, the PAD protesters reached Parliament. Its core leaders insisted that the rally today would be peaceful and that protesters should closely follow the instructions from core leaders. Amid tight security from the police and military forces. Several MPs and senators also arrived at Parliament, waiting to attend today’s parliamentary meeting.
At 9.30am, a number of PAD protesters surrounded the Chart Thai Party headquarters on Sukothai and Pichai Roads. They chanted in front of the party headquarters that Banharn Silpa-archa and other members of the party were serving deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
The PAD also set up a stage at the Metropolitan Police Bureau this morning, with a large number of protesters gathering there to demand the Metropolitan Police take responsibility for the lives that were lost and people who were injured on October 7 police crackdown on the PAD supporters in front of Parliament.
At 10.15am, the PAD supporters who had started marching from Government House reached the Ministry of Finance and surrounded the area. They also asked government officers working at the ministry to join them in protesting against the government.
The PAD announced late this morning that the electricity had been cut off at Parliament, the Metropolitan Police Bureau headquarters and the Ministry of Finance.
At 12.30pm, PAD core leader Somsak Kosaisuk, took to the stage in front of Parliament to announce that they had accomplished one of their missions today, to obstruct the parliamentary session. However, he added that they would not block Parliament for long, as today’s meeting had been cancelled by House Speaker Chai Chidchob. The parliamentary meeting has been rescheduled to Wednesday or Thursday.
The next step for the final showdown of the People’s Alliance for Democracy was to follow the “9 Armies War” using the same “starburst strategy” to overtake government offices in various locations around the capital.
At about 1pm, the PAD supporters reached the temporary government seat at Donmuang to wait for the statement by General Anupong Paojinda and Chai Chidchob regarding where and when the rescheduled parliamentary session would take place.
While the cabinet members were having their urgent meeting, the PAD protesters had started to move to the temporary government seat at Don Muang Airport, resulting in cabinet members rushing to leave the compound. PAD key leader Somsak Kosaisuk announced that the group will stay overnight at the temporary government seat until tomorrow, to prevent the cabinet from holding its weekly conference.
It is expected that more protesters from Government House and nearby provinces will join the gathering at Don Muang Airport tomorrow morning.
It is also being reported that Deputy Prime Minister Chawarat Charnveerakul, acting as the Premier, may cancel tomorrow’s weekly cabinet meeting as he waits for Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat to return to the kingdom to chair the meeting on Wednesday evening. It is also speculated that the government may change the venue of the cabinet conference from Don Muang Airport to the Army’s auditorium.