Thousands of protesters joined the country’s largest car mob demonstrations to date across Bangkok and other provinces yesterday, demanding Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s dismissal.
Anti-government activists and their supporters honked their vehicles’ horns in another car mob held on Sunday.
Demonstrations were organized by the red-shirt leader Nattawut Saikuar, who previously called on protesters to avoid violence, and the activist Somsak Boonngam-anong.
Tha Lu Fah and other anti-government groups took part in the parades.
Protesters criticized the prime minister and his government for their mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic as Thailand faces a significant increase in cases and deaths.
They asked Prayut to resign from his position, arguing that his handling of the health crisis has been inept.
Protesters drove through roads in other provinces, including Chon Buri, Chiang Mai, and Chanthaburi.
However, organizers called off a planned demonstration in Surat Thani for security reasons after the police refused to grant them permission due to the existing emergency decree.
Across all provinces, people lined the streets to support pro-democracy protesters as convoys passed by.
Police officers were deployed to key locations in Bangkok.
Security forces guarded the Royal Thai Poice headquarters near the Ratchaprasong intersection, where one demonstration started.
They also used cargo containers to block Vibhavadi Rangsit Road and prevent protesters from reaching Prayut’s residence.
Although demonstrations were predominantly peaceful, police and anti-government demonstrators clashed at the Din Daeng intersection.
Police used water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters approaching the containers.
However, it was unclear who was behind Din Daeng’s rally since the location had not been announced as a protest point on Nuttawut and Sombat’s itinerary.
On his Facebook page, the red-shirt leader called on all parties to end the violence.
Nattawut rushed Din Daeng, abruptly leaving the rally in Ratchaprasong, and pleaded with defiant protesters to avoid confronting police agents.
Some demonstrators remained in the area, but the event ended at 6:00 p.m., while the national anthem played in the background.