Anti-government protesters march through central Bangkok before police clashes


Anti-government protesters blocked roads in central Bangkok before clashes with police.

The agitators held signs and chanted slogans while holding up traffic and marching through the Central World in the Thailand capital yesterday (August 17).

In violent scenes, vandals later threw pink paint at the national police headquarters prompting riot officers to respond with water cannon.

The unrest has continued for the last week despite a government ban on crowds of more than five people gathering due to the rise in Covid-19 cases this year.

Anger at the regime – which seized power with a military coup in 2014 – has grown in recent years sparking protests. The Thailand protest movement lost momentum due to the coronavirus but has resumed in recent weeks. 

Activists are demanding new elections, the prime minister to resign and a new constitution with ‘more democracy’.

Ministers say the unrest is being funded by disaffected opposition, exiled politicians and extremist groups who encourage students to join the protests. They have cited evidence that social media bots are being used to provoke the unrest among the impressionable youth.

Ministers have banned gatherings of more than five people and rolled out a 9pm curfew due to the Covid-19 pandemic but the laws have been ignored by the demonstrators.