Bangkok — Rallies against the blanket amnesty bill are escalating after a network of anti-Thaksin groups announced it would join the demonstrations at the Uruphong intersection in Bangkok.
The opposition Democrat Party, meanwhile, looks ready to expand its own anti-amnesty rally at the Samsen train station.
The anti-Thaksin coalition made up of civic groups in all 77 provinces joined the State Enterprises Workers’ Relations Confederation and the Dhamma Army to urge members to join two rallies at Uruphong and Lumphini Park, said reports.
Police are keeping close watch on the Samsen rally as more protesters are expected to join over the weekend.
Police had demanded the organizers of the Uruphong intersection rally reopen the area for traffic by Saturday night, but they have refused to move, said a report.
A spokesman for the police said they have no plan to use force to disperse the protesters as some media had reported.
Anti-amnesty rallies are also taking place in several provinces outside Bangkok.
Some members of the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) are also holding anti-amnesty demonstrations in Khon Kaen, Roi-Et, and Udon Thani. The UDD has been a close ally of the pro-Thaksin political parties since its inception.
The Pheu Thai-dominated House of Representatives passed the blanket amnesty bill early Friday morning by a vote of 310-0 after the Democrats walked out in protest.
The bill will go to the Senate next week, with a first reading expected by Nov 11 or sooner.
The bill grants amnesty to people involved in the political conflict that has engulfed the nation since the months leading up to the 2006 coup that overthrew former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.