Ayutthaya, the 17th of October 2010: Red Shirts from around the country joined in mass motorcades descending on the central Thai provinces of Ayutthaya on Sunday, where protesters gathered to listen to various anti-government speeches by leaders of the movement before disbanding sometime in the early evening.
Beginning the day of protests at the Pridi-Thamrong Bridge in the center of Ayutthaya province, protesters tied red ribbons along the major roadway, causing significant traffic congestion issues throughout the day as travelling supporters made their way into the area. The main protest addresses were heard in a controlled environment at the Ayutthaya Stadium.
According to protest spokesman and key Red Sunday component Sombat Boonngamanong, the Red Shirt and anti-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) will continue to stage rally’s in defiance of the illegitimate Thai government but will refrain from putting protesters at risk in a situation as was seen during April and May of this year.
“Our activities will remain, we will increase the red presence every Sunday in every province,” Sombat stated in a press release.
Along with some 20 police checkpoints around the central province, Metropolitan Police Bureau officer were once again on hand to record the movement on video tape as well as recording the speeches made by key leaders of the renewed front. A squad of some 450-riot control officers was reportedly on hand to deal with possible disturbances.
Currently the controversial emergency decree is not imposed in Ayutthaya, just north of the Thai capital, where it remains in place along with in the three surrounding provinces of Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi and Samut Prakan.
Yesterdays Red Shirt protests marked the second such mass gathering of the anti-government movement in key central provinces since the violent end to a 2-month occupation of central Bangkok earlier this year.