Protesters rally at Asok junction

Protesters rally at Asok junction

Motorists urged to honk their horns

Anti-government protesters travel along Sukhumvit Road as they head towards Asok intersection, which the protest leaders have turned into a gathering point until their demands are met. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Anti-government protesters travel along Sukhumvit Road as they head towards Asok intersection, which the protest leaders have turned into a gathering point until their demands are met. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Anti-government protesters returned to Asok intersection on Monday to ramp up the pressure on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to step down, urging sympathetic motorists to honk their honks while driving past the protest site.

Protest leaders Sombat Boonngam-anong and Nattawut Saikuar had previously called on the public to take part in the daily protests at the intersection. The protests, which are held from 4pm to 8pm each day, run in parallel with the anti-government protests organised by students and other groups.

Mr Sombat, who initiated the car mob rally, said Asok intersection will become their protest base until the prime minister steps down.

He said if the premier does not step down, a permanent structure will be erected at the intersection until the demand is met.

"We have made our stance clear that this is the peaceful protest. We have also coordinated with local police and our protest site is nowhere near 'sensitive symbolic grounds', so this is a safe political space that everyone can join," Mr Sombat told the Bangkok Post.

"Those who have a car can also participate in our campaign by driving to Asok intersection at 4pm and sounding their car horn as a part of an organic mob," he said.

"[Asok intersection] will be a base for our prolonged fight. Take [the youth protesters] in Din Daeng, for example -- as long as Gen Prayut is still around, they will stay," he said, referring to a group of hardliners who have been clashing with riot police on a daily basis for several weeks.

A special lane will be marked on Ratchadaphisek Road to allow emergency vehicles to pass through while the protest is ongoing, he said.

That said, Mr Sombat said the protest organisers are planning a new car mob rally which will pass through some stretches of Sukhumvit Road.

On Monday, a convoy led by Mr Nattawut gathered at Ratchaprasong intersection, before moving towards Asok, where its participants honked their horns while driving past the rally location.

He said a major rally demanding the ouster of Gen Prayut will be announced later. "The car mob is attracting more people. Let's wait for two or three days before we call a mass rally," he said.

Metropolitan Police Bureau deputy commissioner Piya Tawichai said on Monday police will step up measures to prevent protesters using the Din Daeng flats to instigate violence.

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