Thailand Police Hit Protesters With Chemical Water Cannon

Pro-democracy demonstrators in Thailand clashed with police during an hours-long onslaught in front of Parliament in Bangkok, with protesters using giant rubber ducks to defend themselves from chemically tainted tear gas and water cannons.

Students attempting to break the barbed wire.

A later clash with monarchist yellowshirts ensued, with live rounds being fired and a casing being recovered at the scene where gunshots were heard.

Protesters first gathered in front of Parliament in the morning, with police using normal-looking water cannons and moderate amounts of tear gas. Frontliners were repeatedly gassed and were forced to retreat after they tried to break the wire fence separating the police from protesters, eventually breaching the fence. Tear gas was thrown back at the police and forced them to retreat back to the initial barricades.

After the first usage of water cannons, protesters obtained several dozen rubber ducks that endured the onslaught of the water cannons as a shield against chemicals that were determined to have irritants.

The police promptly retreated from Kiakkai Intersection after protesters managed to resist the water cannons, and left the demonstration to its own devices after royalist yellowshirts arrived and began a fight. The two sides threw projectiles at each other, with multiple injuries occurring but no reported deaths.

After the clashes, the protest mostly calmed down until the night, when they returned to the parliament, receiving an almost immediate response from the police. Despite the usage of chemical water by security forces, the demonstrators still managed to breach the barricades.

News report from Thairath.

News organizations were able to determine that the cannon water was indeed tainted with chemicals. According to the Thairath news, the purple chemical water which the police used on the protesters is mixed with Potassium permanganate. The effect is similar to acid rain, irritates the conjunctiva and respiratory tract. Sodium thiosulphate was also used, which additionally gives a burning sensation, not unlike the substances used in tear gas.

Following the clash with the government and resistance against chemically tainted water, clashes began once again with royalist yellowshirts, with gunshots being heard. A .380 ACP bullet was recovered at the scene.

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