BANGKOK — A protest to raise awareness about climate change was forced to cancel by the police Friday just minutes after it began in front of a park.
The rally, called Climate Strike Thailand, was scheduled to kick off at Lumpini Park at about 6pm today, but police officers from Lumpini Park arrived at the scene and told them to disperse. The officers refused to give any specific reason, though one eyewitness said police told them it was inappropriate to hold a protest in front of a statue of King Rama VI.
“Ironically, we were trying to get into the park, but somebody in the authorities told us we couldn’t go into the park, that’s why we ended up here,” the protester said.
About 100 people were participating in a “die-in” in front of the statue when police intervened. The memorial is a tribute to King Rama VI, who died in 1925.
The news came as a surprise to the activists because a similar demonstration was held in September without any interference from the authorities.
The climate change protest at Lumpini Park took place in the heart of Bangkok’s financial district; nearby landmarks include Silom Road and Chulalongkorn Hospital.