BANGKOK — Inspired by “Run Against Dictatorship” run in Bangkok, over 2,000 people organize local versions of the event in their own provinces outside the capital Sunday morning.
According to figures released by police, the largest anti-government running event outside Bangkok was held in Ubon Ratchathani, where about 400 people attended the activity. Similar events in Chiang Mai, Pattani, and Chachoengsao drew approximately 300 people each.
No violence was reported at any of these events, but police presence was heavy. In Ubon Ratchathani, runners were told they could not wear t-shirts that contained political slogans or referenced the government, so they donned shirts that depicted former PM Thaksin Shinawatra instead.
The authorities previously tried to block organizers in Ubon Ratchathani from hosting the run, but that order was ignored. A score of runners in Phayao, where local police put the ban on the event, also defied the prohibition and took to the streets today.
About 200 runners showed up in Phitsanulok, while a crowd of about 100 people was present in other provinces like Mahasarakham, Nakhon Pathom, and Udon Thani.
In some provinces, such as Krabi, Tak, and Phuket, the events there were attended by about a dozen runners, police said.
The main event in Bangkok’s Suan Rot Fai itself attracted at least 10,000 people, according to a reporter and eyewitnesses at the scene. Police said they counted 13,000 runners in total.