Some 300 policemen were stationed around Democracy Monument on Saturday to keep an eye on the planned assembly of people calling for elections.
People arriving in the area were stopped at the police checkpoint and asked to provide their names and IDs. Some of them refused to reveal their identity to the police.
The monument itself has been decked with plants while the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration erected a portable fence on Friday night, seen as an attempt to block the rally.
The manager of a McDonald’s outlet located in the area was asked by police officers to “cooperate” in keeping order, even as participants waited there for the assembly to begin at 4pm. Some of the participants shouted at the police to express their dissatisfaction.
Three activists who are wanted by police for taking part in a pro-election assembly on January 27 have vowed to show up at Saturday’s rally despite knowing that they would be immediately arrested.