Monday, February 24, 2020

Power-plant activists given deadline to move from new protest site

Feb 13. 2018
Photo from: Stopcoalkrabi's Facebook fanpage
Photo from: Stopcoalkrabi's Facebook fanpage
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By Pratch Rujivanarom
The Nation

Nang Leng Police on Tuesday ordered coal-fired power plant hunger strikers to move away from the pavement in front of United Nations building in Bangkok, but the activists have insisted on staying.

Sixty-three persons have participated in the hunger strike against the Krabi and Thepa coal-fired power plant projects in the South on Tuesday. The hunger strike began at 11.30am on Monday.

It was the second time that the protest led by Save Andaman from Coal and the Network of Songkhla-Pattani Residents Against Coal-Fired Power Plants groups has been told to move. They have been banned from gathering in front of Government House, their former protest site, since Saturday.

Nang Leng Police superintendent Pol Col Kampanart Arunkiriroj announced in the statement released on Tuesday that the police have found that the demonstrators violated the Public Gathering Act, so they have ordered the activists to move to Wat Somanat Wihan Temple instead before a deadline of 4pm on Tuesday.

Police said the protesters breached the protest law by sleeping on the pavement and walking on the road, which caused difficulties to motorists and pedestrians. Police said they had issued the order to ease traffic problems and prevent the risk of traffic accidents to commuters and demonstrators.

On Friday, the Metropolitan Police also used traffic disruption as a reason to issue a protest ban zone around Government House, forcing the protesters to move to their current site outside the UN building.

Supaporn Malailoi, the legal assistant for the protesters from EnLaw Thai Foundation, insisted that the demonstrators had requested permission to stage a peaceful protest as per the Public Gathering Act, so this protest was legally staged. Supapron said they would not move from UN building as per the police order.

Many police officers were seen observing the protest site on Tuesday afternoon.

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