Police stop “We Walk for Friendship” long march to Khon Kaen

A planned 450-kilometre long march from Thammasat University Rangsit Campus in Pathum Thani to Khon Kaen province to call for rights to natural resources management and democracy organised by the People Go Network was halted by police late Saturday morning (Jan 20).

The People Go Network (PGN), an umbrella organisation of social activists and academics working on health, natural resources, food security, and civil rights issues, was scheduled to launch the “We Walk for Friendship” long march from Thammasat University (TU) this morning.

However, they were stopped by riot control and Klong Luang police who set up barricades to prevent the group from moving out of the campus.

As of 4pm, the PGN core leaders, including the dean of TU’s Faculty of Sociology and Anthropology Anusorn Unno, were still negotiating with Pathum Thani police commander Pol Maj Gen Surapong Thanomjit to allow them to go ahead with the campaign.

Police said the campaign was against the public assembly law and was at risk of being intervened by ill-willed persons.

The group has been gathering at TU’s Phahonyothin gate as police officers set up cordon to prevent them from moving onto Phahonyothin road.

The PNG announced its plan to hold long march from Pathum Thani to Khon Kaen between Jan 20-Feb 17 to strengthen collaborations between local people, social activists, and academics working on health, natural resources, food security, community rights, and pro-democracy issues in the Northeast.

However, police believed the campaign is politically motivated and aimed to discredit the military junta as the group aimed to collect signatures from supporters along the way to Khon Kaen.

The long march participants hold sitting protest as police prevent them to march on.

 

TU lecturer and People Go Network leader talks to Pathum Thani police.

 

Police cordon at TU’s Phahonyothin gate. (Photo: People GO Network)