Suthep leads march in defiance of state of emergency

Many lined up the roads to hand cash to protest leader Suthep on January 23, 2014.

Protest supreme leader Suthep Thaugsuban Thursday led thousands of protesters on a march from the Asoke rally site to defy the state of emergency.

It was the first march led by Suthep, the secretary general of the People's Democratic Reform Committee, since the state of emergency took effect on Wednesday.

Protesters at the Asoke rally site formed the procession at 10am.

They headed from the Asoke intersection to the Chidlom intersection then turned left into Langsuan Road. They plan to walk to Sarasin Road and turn left for Wireless Road before turning right into Ploenchit Road and marching back to the Asoke intersection.

Security guards formed a three-layer human shield to protect Suthep.

Suthep allowed key PDRC leaders to walk with him in the innermost circle, among them Natthapol Tipasuwan and Sakolthi Phatthiyakul who are in charge of the Asoke rally site.

Suthep greeted the people along the way and many lined up the roads to hand cash to him.

Before the march, Suthep told foreign reporters that the situation did not warrant a state of emergency yet.

Suthep expressed concern that if and when the government was cornered, it would resort to violence against the protesters and added that the government could not enforce the Internal Security Act.

He also said the opposite side was continuously making plans to harm the demonstrators.