Bangkok Has Its Forth Anti-Government Protest In a Week

On Friday, the police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at another demonstration by anti-government groups demanding Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s removal.

Security forces reportedly cracked down on the protesters to prevent them from moving closer to Prayut’s residence.

The Tha Lu Fah movement organized the protest, which started around 3:00 p.m. at the Victory Monument, burning lamyai and mangosteen in protest of fruit prices’ fall.

Protesters then walked the same route as Wednesday’s rally, expecting to reach the 1st Infantry Regiment on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road.

However, the police blocked the road with freight containers, as they have done ahead of past demonstrators.

Officers started firing tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators trying to move the containers.

Local media reported that protesters countered by throwing firecrackers at the officers.

Protest organizers and pro-democracy leaders returned to the Din Daeng intersection and called off the protest around 5:30 p.m.

But some people stayed behind and confronted the police.

Both parties were forced to disperse and seek shelter due to heavy rains.

It has not yet been confirmed how many people were injured. But it was known that Tanat Thanakitamnuay, from the prominent property development that controls Noble Development Plc, was among them.

He was sent to Mission Hospital after being wounded by a rubber bullet near his right eye.

Mr. Tanat was a supporter of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), known for protesting the Yingluck Shinawatra government and paving the way for the 2014 coup d’état that brought Prayut to power.

He also made headlines in 2010 after crashing his Porsche Carrera 911 into a crowd of red t-shirt protesters.

However, he later switched sides and has criticized Prayut’s administration.

Tha Lu Fah activists also said they would protest peacefully on Friday after previous rallies turned violent.

The group said the government’s mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic had resulted in numerous deaths, adding that they were protesting “to get rid of Prayut.”

Red Shirt leader Nattawut Saikuar warned protesters that violent clashes with police could result in a victory for those in power.

The government stated that protests violate emergency regulations and officials have brought charges against 300 people involved in demonstrations.