By Thai Newsroom Reporters
A LONG PROCESSION OF AUTOMOBILES and motorcycles was mounted again today (Aug 29) on a 50-kilometre route from Bangkok to Pathum Thani in a renewed, massive ”Car Mob – Call Out” demonstration primarily designed to pile pressure upon an embattled Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Led by Red Shirt leader Nattawut Saikua, political activist Sombat Boonngam-anong and ”renegade” political activist Thanat Thanakitamnuay, the anti-Prayut demonstrators rode on sedans, pickup trucks and motorcycles cruising along the way between the capital city and its northern neighbouring province in what they said was virtually a prelude to a censure debate against the premier and five other cabinet members scheduled between Aug. 31 and Sept. 2 at parliament.
The ”Car Mob – Call Out” procession, consisting of many vehicles carrying placards and flags saying ”Prayut Get Out”, got started at about 3 p.m. from Kaset Nawamin road passing Ngamwongwan road, Rattanathibet road, Rajapruek road, Chaiyapruek road and Tivanon road and finally arrived at downtown Pathum Thani.
Some people on both sides of the roads looked on while others exchanged the three-finger salute with the horn-tooting motorists along the 50-kilometre distance in which they spent nearly three and a half hours on the road.
Speaking through a loudspeaker in the cargo bay of a parked pickup truck, Nattawut told the anti-Prayut demonstrators to get themselves ready for the ”most massive ever” street protest which will be organized on Sept. 2, marking the final day of the three-day censure debate at parliament.
Read earlier reports: Red flag erected, pride flag wrapped around Democracy Monument
The Red Shirt leader declined to give details of such plans to keep pressing Prayut to step down in the face of his alleged failures to cope with the pandemic situation nationwide.
He called on all government MPs to reconsider their reported intent to continue to endorse the premier in a subsequent vote of confidence, suggesting they lend an ear to the voice of their own constituents who have been joining the anti-Prayut protests.
The government MPs include those of the Palang Pracharath Party, Bhumjaithai Party, Democrat Party and several splinter parties.
In another development, independent street protesters clashed with crowd-control police in Din Daeng intersection area, barely a kilometre from the First Infantry Regiment barracks which houses Prayut’s residence on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road.
The police took positions behind empty cargo containers temporarily erected on one side of the road and fired tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons at the protesters who fired pellets with slingshots and hurled firecrackers and flares toward the police.
The early-evening clashes between the crowd-control police and the motorcycle-riding, helmet-wearing protesters have occurred repeatedly over the last few weeks though several of the young, independent demonstrators have eventually been arrested and detained by the police.
The helmet-wearing, baton- and shield-wielding policemen finally secured the entire area shortly after most of the street protesters had gradually dispersed as curfew, beginning at 9 p.m., was approaching.
Today’s ‘Car Mob – Call Out” protest convoy and the new clash between independent street protesters and crowd control police at Din Daeng intersection. All photos: Siam Rath