Defiant protesters ignore promise of peaceful rally, clash with police at Din Daeng intersection
Young hard core anti-establishment protesters, many of them vocational students, clashed with crowd control police at Bangkok’s Din Daeng intersection again this evening (Sunday), as they tried to breach a wall of shipping containers and a police cordon blocking access to the out-bound side of Vibhavadi Rangsit highway.
These protesters did not join the three “car mob” convoys, organized by former red-shirt leader Nattawut Saikuar, Sombat Boonngarm-anong and the “Talu Fah” group, which were separately heading for the Ratchaprasong intersection, the Democracy Monument and Lat Phrao intersection, after travelling through the streets of Bangkok and Thonburi.
The young protesters gathered at Din Daeng intersection during the afternoon and, at about 5.30pm, tried to remove one of the shipping containers, in order to march toward Prime Minister Prayut Chan-op-cha’s residence inside the nearby barracks of the First Infantry Regiment of the Royal Guards.
Crowd control police responded, starting with teargas and followed by rubber bullets and high-powered water cannons. The protesters reportedly fought back with “ping pong” bombs, flares, giant firecrackers, bricks and sling shots.
Nattawut had said earlier that the three groups of protesters would avoid Government House and Din Daeng intersection, to prevent a confrontation with the police. He assured that the protests by the three groups would be peaceful and would disperse at 6pm, after sounding their vehicle horns in a symbolic gesture of protest against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Hearing of the clashes at Din Daeng intersection, Nattawut rushed to the scene in a pickup truck and told the young protesters to disperse.