Final car mob rally underway with new daily protests ahead

Final car mob rally underway with new daily protests ahead

Protesters take part in a
Protesters take part in a "car mob" convoy calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha near Kasetsart University on Sunday. (AFP photo)

"Car mob" rallies to oust Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will come to a halt after the final outing on Sunday, as organisers pivot towards daily demonstrations across the country.

Before the start flag dropped, Sombat Boonngam-anong said Sunday's car mob rally against the prime minister would be the last as he and red-shirt leader Nattawut Saikuar had agreed to gear up the campaign to another level.

Mr Sombat said the locations of the new rally sites and other details would be announced after Sunday's convoy reached its destination. 

"After five car mob rallies, it's about time to upgrade the protests," he told UDD News. "The car mob protests have reached their peak" after more and more cars joined the convoys, he said.

Mr Sombat said the evening rallies would be held at the same place in every province for people to attend after work to air their opposition to Gen Prayut, and would continue indefinitely until the prime minister steps down.

"We will engage in a long, peaceful struggle which will not add to the burdens of participants," he said, adding that the demonstrations would not last late into the night. 

Mr Sombat did not initially disclose the rally locations. A Facebook message posted on Sunday said only that they would be in provincial downtowns across the country.

The final car mob rally on Sunday started near Kasetsart University in Bang Khen district. Its 50km-long route would take it through Nonthaburi before ending in Pathum Thani.

Hundreds of cars were seen waiting to join the convoy along the way.

The car mob rally jointly organised by Mr Sombat and Mr Nattawut on Aug 15 drew thousands of cars in Bangkok and other provinces.

Meanwhile, the Thalugaz, a group of mostly youth protesters on motorcycles, assembled at Democracy Monument at 2pm on Sunday. They did not merge with the main rally held by Mr Nattawut, regrouping instead at Din Daeng intersection, the scene of previous clashes with the police.

At about 4.45pm, the protesters reportedly began hurling objects, giant firecrackers and ping pong bombs at containers put up to bolster the police's defences on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road.

The police fired tear gas and deployed water cannon at the protesters. One policeman was said to be injured by debris from a flare.

The Metropolitan Police Bureau sent crowd control officers to help maintain order and direct traffic away from the protest.

So far, 345 people have been arrested on protest-related charges. Another 615 face charges nationwide for their roles in protests held since the beginning of July, according to the police.

In Bangkok, 406 protesters have been charged, 200 of whom have been questioned further by the police.

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