Cops train cannon on anti-govt protesters

Cops train cannon on anti-govt protesters

Police spray water at protesters belonging to the Free Youth group during a clash near the Phan Fa intersection on Ratchadamnoen Avenue yesterday. The water cannon was used to deter the protesters as they tried to remove barbed wire during their march to Government House. Arnun Chonmahatrakool
Police spray water at protesters belonging to the Free Youth group during a clash near the Phan Fa intersection on Ratchadamnoen Avenue yesterday. The water cannon was used to deter the protesters as they tried to remove barbed wire during their march to Government House. Arnun Chonmahatrakool

Police yesterday used water cannon, rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse protesters demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and that the government be held accountable for its mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The protest was halted about 6.30pm yesterday.

Demonstrators clashed with police after some tried to dismantle barbed wire and metal barricades set up along Ratchadamoneon Nok Avenue in a bid to prevent them from marching to Government House.

A number of people were injured, and an area near Wat Ratchanatda, near the Democracy Monument, was set up for health volunteers to help protesters injured during the police operation.

"Murderous government!" Panusaya "Rung" Sithijirawattanakul, a protest leader, tweeted after police used force to disperse protesters.

Thatchapong Kaedam, a leader of the Free Youth group, encouraged people to stop the protest.

"We never thought that our peaceful protest would be severely attacked," he said.

Earlier, cars and motorcycles joined a throng of demonstrators walking towards Government House.

The protesters defied a ban on public gatherings set in place over increased Covid-19 infections by assembling at Ratchadamnoen Avenue, where thousands attended a similar rally a year ago.

Recently, they began criticising the government's management of the pandemic.

"The government has been poor at managing the situation and if we don't do anything, there will be no change," Kanyaporn Veeratat, 34, a protester, told Reuters.

More than 2,000 police were deployed to counter the rally.

Pol Col Kissana Phathanacharoen, deputy spokesman for the Royal Thai Police, said the use of water cannon and rubber bullets was made in accordance with the law.

On Friday, a blanket announcement banning such a gathering was published in the Royal Gazette.

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (14)

Online vaccination bookings quota for Bang Sue station quickly filled

Online appointments for Covid-19 vaccination at Bang Sue station in August for people aged 18 or more were fully booked shortly after registration opened on Thursday.

17:24

Nearly half of shops at shopping mecca in Seoul emptied

SEOUL: Nearly half of the stores at Myeongdong, a tourist shopping mecca in downtown Seoul, have become empty amid absence of tourists for nearly 18 months.

17:15

Medical supplies donated by Switzerland arrive

Thailand has taken delivery of Covid-19 testing kits and ventilators donated by Switzerland.

16:57