What is happening with the Democrat protest rally? Numbers game
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What is happening with the Democrat protest rally? Numbers game

1. On the number of protesters, the post the other day with a round-up of the first day of the Democrats rally estimated between 9,500-12,000 people turned up, based on the size of the area at around 225 metres by 12 metres with up to 4 persons per sqm and some more on the periphery with the Bangkok Post’s story stating that “at least 10,000 people joined the Democrat Party-engineered rally in Samsen”.

A latter Bangkok Post article stated:

On the first day of the party-led protest, which drew around 20,000 participants , Mr Suthep took the stage to declare the rally would “go all the way”

When Mr Suthep took the stage about 7pm, police put the size of the crowd at 20,000.

BP: That is a little odd because The Nation and Bloomberg both have quotes from the police as saying 8,000 attended which matches the below screenshot from the police tweeted by a reporter:

 

Then again another Bangkok Post article states:

The opposition party on Thursday night drew a crowd claimed to be 20,000 to the Samsen site, though other estimates put the number at between 8,000 and 10,000. In any case, more people were were arriving on Friday and party organisers were expanding the site and arranging for more toilets and other facilities

Another Bangkok Post article stated:

Democrat Party MP for Surat Thani Suthep Thaugsuban is leading the protest against the blanket amnesty bill, which attracted more than 10,000 people on Thursday evening.

The Bangkok Post also estimated the numbers of Friday night:

When Bangkok Post Sunday visited the rally site on Friday night, the activities on stage ran continuously until after midnight, at which point many of the 10,000-odd demonstrators made their way home. But as the crowds thinned, many found patches of empty land to set up camp for the night.

Then again another Bangkok Post article stated:

“We will use Samsen for our fight against the amnesty bill,” the Surat Thani MP told more than 20,000 demonstrators on Friday night, the second day of the rally organised by the opposition party.

Then for Saturday night, 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 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.

Veera in the Bangkok Post:

The crowd grew bigger each night for the past three nights. It was estimated by the protest organiser that on Saturday night the number of protesters was at about 50,000 a gainst the police estimate of between 7,000 and 8,000

BP: For Friday, BP doesn’t have any better information, though an observer  said Friday’s crowd was not significantly more than Thursday. However, this person was able to offer a greater assessment for Saturday, stating that by then the Democrats had expanded the rally site from 225 metres long by adding another 120 metres making the venue 345 metres by 12 metres. Photos also show people on the periphery as well, but there were also some people seated at the back within the protest site. It is always hard to tell based on photos how dense the protesters were because it will depend on the time they were taken, but based on this the observer said it was very densely populated. If 3 people per sqm, it is 12,420. At 4 people per sqm it is 16,560 so with those on the periphery BP would say 13,000-17,000 for Saturday. This shows a growing number although certainly less than the Democrats were hoping for. Today is a weekday so it will be more difficult to increase the numbers from the weekend. The lack of the increase is probably why the Democrats are looking to escalate things today. More on that soon.