12 July 2024

Sixteen protesters were arrested by police in the Nang Lerng area of Bangkok last night (Sunday), after a “car mob” protest ended. The convoy of cars and motorcycles arrived at the Democracy Monument, after a journey through several parts of the capital, which had started at the Asoke-Sukhumvit intersection.

After most of the protesters had left, including leaders Nattawut Saikua and Sombat Boonngamanong, some hardcore protesters regrouped at Nang Lerng intersection and clashed with a group of crowd control police, who were patrolling on motorcycles and in pickup trucks.

It remains unclear what sparked the clashes, but several firecrackers and cherry bombs were heard exploding at and around Nang Lerng intersection and a police kiosk was torched. A police car was also damaged by protesters and many spikes were found strewn on the road leading to Urupong intersection.

Deputy Metropolitan Police Commissioner Pol Maj-Gen Piya Tavichai said last night that four protesters were injured, believed to have been hurt by accidentally setting off their own explosives, as the “car mob” convoy was passing the Sirikit National Convention Centre late yesterday afternoon.

He said that 16 protesters have been detained on charges of taking part in an illegal assembly in public to cause unrest, resisting arrest and arson.

He disclosed that, since July, 10 police booths, over 40 traffic cameras and more than 50 cars and motorcycles have been torched or damaged.

Warrants have been issued for 797 protesters and 552 of them have been arrested.

This morning, political activist and secretary-general of the Thai Constitution Protection Association, Srisuwan Janya, filed a complaint with Thonglor police accusing Nattawut and Sombat of, among other things, organising the “car mob” protest yesterday in a way which may cause public unrest, in defiance of the Emergency Decree and the Communicable Disease Act.