Demonstration Alert – U.S. Embassy Bangkok, Thailand (October 17-18, 2020)

Location: Bangkok, Thailand – Various locations in Bangkok

Event:  U.S. Embassy Bangkok informs U.S. citizens of political gatherings planned for this weekend, October 17-18, 2020 at various locations throughout Thailand.  Reports indicate that these gatherings may take place with little or no notice of location or time.  The Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS) locations in Bangkok could become spontaneous protest sites over the weekend. These demonstrations may heavily disrupt mass transit and traffic.  U.S. government personnel have been advised to avoid all demonstrations and BTS locations during times of protest.

On October 15, 2020 Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha declared a state of emergency for Bangkok.  In this declaration, groups of five or more people are prohibited from gathering.  This declaration has been approved by the Cabinet and is valid through November 13, 2020.

Reports indicate the political gatherings described above could involve large crowds of participants. The Royal Thai Police plan to be present and may set up check points in and around the area in connection with the event.  Plan ahead for the possibility of traffic and other potential disruptions in downtown Bangkok, as well as locations in other provinces.  Additional demonstrations are possible in the coming days.

Although violence is not expected, even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.  Avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.  U.S. citizens should monitor local news and social media reports before traveling to downtown Bangkok this weekend.

Actions to Take:

  • Monitor local media and our Embassy website for updates, and check your email for further alerts;
  • Avoid crowds;
  • Avoid demonstrations;
  • Be aware of your surroundings;
  • Review your personal security plans;
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities.