Thai Protesters Claim a Temporary Victory

Thai Protesters Claim a Temporary Victory

BANGKOK—In a hard-fought weekend, Thailand’s pro-democracy protesters stuck to the streets of Bangkok, despite the government’s best efforts to shift them with methods including water cannons and media propaganda.

Riot police fired water cannons and water-based irritants on pro-democracy protesters on Friday in harrowing scenes that saw the largely peaceful protesters in defiance of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha’s emergency decree. But that show of force has been met with mass protests in Bangkok in the days since, with protesters drawing inspiration from last year’s Hong Kong demonstrations—and the authorities from the Hong Kong government’s responses.

“Do they think we will go? No, tomorrow, more tomorrow,” a tattoo artist and protester who asked to be referred to as Tad said on Friday after being routed by riot police and water cannons. When asked where the next protests would be, he smiled. “We don’t know, they don’t know.”

One lone man sat trying to make brick barricades, as seen in the Hong Kong protests to prevent vehicles from advancing, but it was of little use. The police had taken the area, and the few remaining straggling, soaking-wet protesters made their way to Chulalongkorn University for sanctuary and escape.