BANGKOK — Environmental activists pledged Monday to march on the Government House to protest plans to construct a coal power plant in the south.
The march, which would violate the junta’s ban on protests, is necessary because the military regime has so far ignored the protesters’ demand to completely halt the project, protest leader Prasitchai Nunuan told reporters today.
Prasitchai said he acknowledged the demonstration, planned for Tuesday, would carry legal repercussions, but said all protesters are committed to practicing civil disobedience.
“We are ready to be arrested,” the activist from the southern province of Krabi said at a news conference.
Today marked one week since the protesters, mostly from southern Thailand, gathered in front of the UN headquarters and launched a hunger strike to oppose government plans to build a coal-fired power plant in Songkhla province, citing health and environmental concerns.
Eight people were hospitalized last week after fainting during the hunger strike. The government maintained the plan is currently under studies and nothing is finalized.
All protests and public challenges to junta rule remain banned nearly four years after the 2014 coup.
Tomorrow, the demonstrators are also slated to contest a legal challenge filed by police in civil court. Police had filed for an injunction ordering the protesters to vacate the area in front of the United Nations on Ratchadamnoen Avenue.
Police argue the activists are violating a public assembly law by organizing the unauthorized protest; the organizers said they are exercising their constitutional rights. A hearing is set for 9am on Tuesday.