TWO KEY leaders of the protest movement against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha kicked off a demonstration at Asoke intersection at 4 p.m. today (Sept. 5) with Thonglor police closing Asoke-Montri road heading for Petchaburi intersection but traffic was flowing normally on Sukhumvit road and towards Khlong Toei, Sanook.com said.
Speaking out against Gen. Prayut who survived the no-confidence motion in parliament following four-day marathon debate were red shirt movement leader Mr. Nattawut Saikua and Mr. Sombat Boonngam-anon, who heads the Sombat Tour group.
The latter said the vote of confidence for Prayut is a slap in the face of the people with this contradicting the reality in the country.
Sombat added that today’s demonstration is a rejection of the vote of confidence and protesters will be gathering here everyday for their activities but will not be camping overnight.
He invited people outside Bangkok to come in and join “car mob” protest convoys and blare their horns to symbolically drive out this government.
Meanwhile Nattawut said although Gen. Prayut can still continue performing his duties, where people are concerned he is no longer the prime minister.
Rallies to pressure Prayut to step down will continue but there has been a change with Sombat to be based at Asoke intersection and carry out activities from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. while he will lead protest convoys from this point, he said.
Demonstrations have to be adjusted in keeping with the coronavirus pandemic which prevents people, both those based in Bangkok and those coming in from provinces, from staying for a long time.
Thonglor police station chief had come to the rally site to negotiate with Nattawut to end the demonstration but he insisted on carrying on but said he would cooperate with the police.
Also joining today’s rally were the We Volunteer (WeVo) and Talufah (Through the Sky) activist groups.
Meanwhile at 6. 51 p.m. another group of protesters set something on fire at the entrance of the Royal Thai Army Band Department on the outbound side of Vibhavadi Rangsit road and threw what appeared to be a giant firecracker into the compound while also revving up their motorcycle engines and blaring the horn, Thai Rath newspaper said.
At 6.57 p.m. the crowd-control police based within the compound of this department started moving after having fired rubber bullets at the protesters.
This led to the protesters retreating and by 7.15 p.m. the situation was back to normal.
Today’s protest at Asoke intersection. Photos: Siam Rath and Sanook.com