BANGKOK,. A ‘car mob’ made up of protestors on cars and motorbikes once again created a ruckus on the streets of Bangkok with their presence and incessant honking, and ending up clashing with the police in some intersections.
Defying the ban on public gatherings, many joined ‘car mob’ at Ratchaprasong intersection with today’s protest mobilised by the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration.
The convoy of cars and motorcycles honked their way through the capital of Bangkok and stopped outside buildings linked to cabinet members or supporters of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan o-cha. The places include the Sino-Thai Engineering and Constructions Plc building linked to the family of a senior Thai cabinet minister and the residence of Thammanat Prompow, the Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister.
During these stopovers, the protesters made speeches on their demands including that Prayuth steps down for the government’s poor handling of the COVID-19 situation and slow vaccine roll-out.
However, some of the protesters became incensed and confronted police who blocked access to Prayuth’s residence at Vibhavadi Rangsit Road near Din Daeng intersection, the same venue where clashes happened on Saturday.
Police then fired tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.
At about 5 pm (local time), protest leader Panusaya Sitthijirawatanakul through social media urged the protesters to go home but clashes between protesters and riot police continued at Din Daeng Intersection.
As 8 pm (local time), many protesters refused to leave the site and had set fire on police post at Din Daeng Intersection and Victory Monument.
Today also marks the anniversary when Panusaya read out a 10-point manifesto that also called for the reform of the monarchy, something considered taboo in Thailand,
Meanwhile, local media reported at least 10 protest leaders including Jatupat Boonpathararaksa, Parit Chiwarak and Panupong Jadnok were back in police custody in recent days. They were previously arresteded and had spent time in jail over few protests last year and release on bail since April.
Human rights lawyer Arnon Nampa also faces fresh lese-majeste charge following a speech he made last week.