By Thai Newsroom Reporters
POLICE FIRED TEAR GAS and rubber bullets at street protesters again today (August 7) in a Bangkok intersection area barely a kilometre from an army barracks in which an embattled Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was known to reside.
The policemen in riot gear intermittently fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the anti-Prayut demonstrators, mostly being adolescents, who had proceeded toward Sam Liam Din Daeng junction from Victory Monument.
The destined spot where the protesters had intended to demonstrate was the perimeters of the First Infantry Regiment barracks within which is located the houses of Gen. Prayut, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan and Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda on Vibhavadi Rangsit road.
Read earlier reports: In pictures: Police and protesters clash at Din Daeng junction
The police gradually secured the area between the junction and monument circle as most demonstrators dispersed after a three and a half hours standoff while automobiles and motorcycles tooted their horns in apparent protest of the prime minister.
Some volunteer guards for the street protesters, many of whom wore gas masks and carried shields, ducked the smoky tear gas and rubber bullets on the frontline less than 100 metres from the policemen while others managed to loosely maintain a standoff on the street which leads to the First Infantry Regiment on Vibhavadi Rangsit road.
A police paddy wagon parked at Victory Monument circle was torched by unknown persons but no injuries were reported due to the fire being put out in a few minutes.
Varied pro-democracy activist groups, including Ratsadon group, Free Youth group, Restart Democracy group and Through the Sky group, have repeated calls for the army chief-turned-prime minister to unconditionally resign in the face of an alleged fiasco over his handling of the pandemic situation, a reduction in the Royal Household and military budgets to provide more funding for anti-pandemic measures and giving the people an mRNA vaccine.
The leading protesters decided against an earlier plan to gather outside the Grand Palace, the perimeters of which were lined with empty cargo containers to deter street protesters.
Last week, the anti-Prayut ”car mob” protesters led by former Red Shirt leader Nattawut Saikua and Sombat drove their vehicles and tooted their horns past the First Infantry Regiment, the perimeters of which were lined with cargo containers and barbed wire, on Vibhavadi Rangsit road hours before they ended the street protest.
Riot police then secured the area and fired tear gas toward some of the demonstrators, mostly riding on motorcycles, who happened to hang around the perimeters of the army unit.
Protesters were again hit with tear gas and rubber bullets at Din Daeng junction today (August 7). All Photos: Thai Rath