At an informal gathering today, UDD leaders spoke to Red Shirt activists about developments in Saturday’s Pitak Siam rally. They once again urged Red Shirts to stay away from the ongoing rally in Bangkok and thanked the police for their handling of the protests which have remained stable.
Most importantly, Red Shirts were urged to stay calm and steer clear of any situations that could lead to riots or violence.
We must stay disciplined and united because we are such a large group. We must keep our greater struggle in mind and not be provoked into action by Pitak Siam, it could result in chaos.
UDD leaders gave their thanks to the police on the ground that have kept the situation under control. Earlier this morning, protestors tried to run a vehicle into a police barricade, followed by an exchange of teargas. Despite Pitak Siam’s efforts to incite riots and violence, the police have managed to keep the protests relatively calm, they said.
UDD spokesman Thannawut said to Red Shirts,
The police are capable of handling the situation. There is absolutely no reason for the Red Shirts to go near the rally. This is not our area of responsibility, we must let the authorities do their job.
However, the leaders also warned that the situation could deteriorate quickly. Tida pointed to yesterday’s attacks by Pitak Siam supporters of student activists from the “green light” pro-democracy group as an indicator of the violence that could unfold.
The leaders are monitoring the situation closely and will keep in touch with Red Shirts regarding any significant developments. If the situation deteriorates, they will hold a press conference. They also confirmed that Red Shirts should await any further instructions from three of the UDD leaders: Tida, Jatuporn, and Nattawut.
Red Shirts were urged to present any information or questions to the UDD headquarters by e-mail, fax, or telephone.
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