By Thai Newsroom Reporters
THOUSANDS OF AUTOMOBILE-RIDING PROTESTERS took to the streets of Bangkok again today (Aug 15) in prolonged, concerted moves against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha whom they have continually pressed to step down.
Three processions of sedans, pickup trucks and motorcycles separately passed major areas of the capital city, including one taking on the streets in Ratchaprasong intersection, Rama IV Road, Khlong Tan and Sukhumvit Road areas, one other passing Democracy Monument on Ratchadamnoen Avenue, Pin Klao Road and Borommaratchachonnani Road and one other set out from Asia Highway in Ayutthaya to Phaholyothin Road and Vibhavadi Rangsit Road.
Leading today’s ”car mob/car park” protests were former Red Shirt leader Nattawut Saikua, political activist Sombat Boonngam-anong and human rights activist group Thalufah (Through the Sky).
Read earlier reports: Clashes at Din Daeng junction as ‘car park’ protest gets underway
Nattawut assured that the anti-Prayut protests would by no means trigger provocations, standoffs or clashes between the law-abiding protesters and crowd-control police anywhere.
The five-hour street demonstrations were capped at 6.00 p.m. with the automobile- and motorcycle-riding protesters pulling over and tooting their horns for 45 seconds in synchrony with the airing of the national anthem on the radio and television before they peacefully dispersed.
Gen. Prayut has been held responsible for surges in Covid-19 infection cases and fatalities as he has allegedly failed to effectively contain the pandemic situation, resulting in shortages of hospital beds for infected patients as well as the inadequate and delayed procurement and distribution of coronavirus vaccines.
The protesters strongly insisted that the premier unconditionally resign in the face of the pandemic-related fiasco on his own part.
Meanwhile, the crowd-control police fired tear gas across two tiers of empty cargo containers temporarily lined up as barriers on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road near Sam Liam Din Daeng junction less than a kilometre from the First Infantry Regiment barracks to disperse hundreds of anti-Prayut protesters, mostly being adolescents, who repeated a street demonstration separately and independent of those ”car mob/car park” activists.
The young protesters, mostly wearing face masks and many putting on motorcycle helmets, ducked the smoky tear gas intermittently fired by the police behind the containers and managed to hang around in defiance of the police.
The police had repeatedly put up resistance with the use of tear gas and rubber bullets fired at the street protesters to literally keep their distance from the army regiment barracks in which Prayut’s residence is located.
The ”car mob/car park” protest processions also took place in Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Khon Kaen and Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat) provinces today while clashes again erupted between protesters and riot police at Din Daeng junction in Bangkok. All photos: Thai Rath