Thai protest leaders turn to ‘professional’ security guards

Demonstrators flash the three-fingers salute as they gather outside Government House on Wednesday. (Reuters photo). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

BANGKOK, Dec 11, 2020, Bangkok Post. Organisers of anti-government rallies have decided to stop using volunteer security guards, and will replace them with trained professionals, Bangkok Post reported.

Protest leader Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak posted on his Facebook on Friday that the People’s Movement had disbanded its security volunteers unit.

They would seek teams of professionally trained people to take over the task of ensuring the demonstrators’ safety. He did not say where they would be drawn from.

To date, the rallies have relied on volunteers.

One of the main units performing this duty has been the We Volunteer group, whose members have always been on the frontline at protests. They have removed wire barricades.

Others were ordinary people and students.

Security guards from the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship have also worked voluntarily at some events.

The Thammasat University student activist said the decision had been made to bring in professionals, to better protect protesters from the authorities. The security guards were the “main weapon” in their political campaigns, he said.

Mr Parit said, however, that security volunteers could be called on again in the future for help.

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