By Thai Newsroom Reporters
PRO-DEMOCRACY DEMONSTRATORS today (July 18) renewed a massive street protest near Government House pressing Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to step down but police shot rubber bullets, tear gas and high-pressure water cannons to keep them at bay.
The latest Bangkok street protest, organised by 15 activist groups including the Free Youth, We Volunteer, Democracy Restoration Group, Democratic Front For Hope and Public Health Association, repeatedly pressed for Gen. Prayut to unconditionally resign, for the slashing of funds for royal and military units, thus using those funds for pandemic-related medical expenditure and the procurement of mRNA vaccines as main coronavirus vaccines and not as alternative ones.
Earlier report: Police fire water cannons at protesters near Govt House
A procession of the anti-Prayut street protesters, backed up by a caravan of horn-hooting automobiles and motorcycles, moved from Democracy Monument to Phan Fa Bridge area where We Volunteer guards and demonstrators were deterred by police who used rubber bullets, tear gas and high-pressure water cannons.
Effigies of deceased patients in white cloth were put on top of street barricades to demonstrate Prime Minister Prayut’s alleged mishandling of the pandemic situation which has caused high surges in Covid-19 infection and fatalities daily.
However, the police response to the protesters apparently prompted the latter to change course from Outer Ratchadamnoen Avenue to Nakhon Sawan Road and Phitsanulok Road barely a kilometre from Government House.
The police were deployed just outside Government House behind cargo containers and barbed wire erected as barricades against the moves of mask-wearing protesters.
Protesters were hit with rubber bullets and tear gas in clashes with police from afternoon to evening today. They later burnt some effigies. All photos: Thai Rath