Violent scenes erupt in Bangkok at largest anti-government rally to date

PHOTO: Facebook/กันต์ แสงทอง

Yesterday’s anti-government protest in Bangkok led to violent scenes as police and protesters clashed near the Din Daeng intersection of the capital. The Bangkok Post reports that violence broke out towards the end of what was the largest “car mob” rally to date.

It’s understood that at around 5pm, some younger protesters moved away from the main protests and gathered at the intersection. From there, firecrackers and bricks were hurled at police officers who had stacked up cargo containers to defend the area around the residence of PM Prayut Chan-o-cha. Police hit back with teargas and water cannon.

According to the Bangkok Post report, Nattawut Saikuar, the red-shirt leader who’d organised yesterday’s rally, was greeted with boos when he arrived and pleaded with the protesters to go home. Nattawut had earlier promised that yesterday’s protest action would not be violent and given an undertaking that protesters would stay away from places like Government House and the PM’s residence.

Yesterday’s “car mob” rally in Bangkok was supported by simultaneous events around the country, with protests taking place in Ayutthaya, Prachin Buri, Pathum Thani, Kanchanaburi, Khon Kaen, Lampang, Lamphun and Chiang Mai. Protesters are calling for the PM’s resignation, accusing his administration of gross mismanagement of the Covid-19 crisis.

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Following the clashes in the capital, national police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk says protesters were given advance warning, adding that the crowd control tactics used by police were in line with international standards, if not better.

“Police take precautions to avoid injuries. Compared with crowd control operations executed in other countries, our approach is lighter.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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