The post this morning looked at the numbers for the Democrats from the protests on Thursday night (9,500-12,000) and Saturday night (13,000-17,000), but the increase on the weekend would have been below expectations of the Democrats as they would be hoping for 30,000+ if not 50,000. On Saturday night, the Bangkok Post reported:
Veteran party strategist Suthep Thaugsuban on Saturday night called on opponents of the blanket amnesty to gather at Samsen railway station at 10am Sunday [BP: Actually, it was Monday] and “be ready” for the next move.
“If the crowd is large enough and the conditions are right, we will upgrade our protest,” the Surat Thani MP and former deputy premier told an estimated 20,000 people.
Activist businessman Somkiat Homla-or, meanwhile, has called for a protest on Silom Road on Monday at lunchtime.
Addressing the Samsen rally, he said the Businessmen for Democracy Club and the Green Silom Business Group would ask people to blow whistles at 12.34pm Monday to demonstrate their opposition to the blanket amnesty. Participants are also being asked to wear green.
Mr Somkiat said the public should tell the government that it should not pass any law to clean up the deeds of wrongdoers.
The Nation also reports that the combined Urupong and Lumpini protests (which are still separate from the Democrat) also going on at Silom today:
Thousands of demonstrators are expected to march from the Urupong Intersection to Silom Road today.
The march will be the first activity that demonstrators at Urupong intersection and Lumpini Park will do together after their leaders decided last night to move ahead together.
“We will go to Silom together. It will be our first move together,” Green Politics Group co-ordinator Suriyasai Katasila said.
He spoke after several thousand demonstrators marched from Lumpini to join the anti-government rally at Urupong Intersection, which also had thousands of protesters and has been going for a couple of weeks
The Bangkok Post with more on what the Democrats are doing today:
The Democrat Party will lead a march of opponents to the government’s blanket amnesty bill from Samsen railway station across Bangkok today in a stepped up campaign against the law change.
Democrat heavyweight Suthep Thaugsuban declined to identify the destinations of the march but a well-placed party source said the move, which will begin at 10am, is aimed at paralysing traffic in the capital to press for an end to the bill.
BP: If true, will this help the protest movement gain widespread support? Staying at Samsen certainly causes difficulties for those in the area, but when a protest movement starts walking around, it can really paralyse traffic…
As last reported, the Democrats were, per The Nation, headed to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha with Suthep having stated that they would make a vow in front of a sacred site that they would fight against the amnesty bill (Thai Rath has photos here), but Thai Rath reports Suthep still had not publicly stated a final destination.
Whereas Abhisit and Korn have appeared at Silom to join the rally there.
BP: Suthep leading one rally with Korn and Abhisit in attendance at another. Will we have these dual rallies? What are the Democrats planning next? Surely, evening rallies at Lumpini park, which is easy to access and doesn’t block roads, is a better location than Samsen, particularly for office workers with BTS and MRT routes able to transport people there easily.
btw, cut this out from an earlier post and not quite sure where to put it. Finally, a few days ago, Thai Rath’s political analysis that the political drama is not just with the reds and Thaksin, but also extends to the Democrats with the Deputy Leaders of all 4 regions resigning from their positions on the party executive although the Democrats have not gone all in especially Suthep with some suspecting is he putting all the effort in (แต่ก็ยังไม่วายมีคนสงสัยว่างานนี้ “เต็มแรง” หรือไม่).