‘Car mob’ visits government parties, demands resignations

Anti-government protesters formed an on-the-road protest on Saturday, touring Bangkok to visit political parties in the coalition government and demanding that they and Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha resign.

People and gather at the Democracy Monument on Saturday afternoon, preparing to join the car mob protest.

The ‘car mob’, organised by veteran activist Sombat Boonngamanong, started at 13.00 at the Democracy Monument before visiting various party headquarters around Bangkok to deliver an open letter urging them to resign from the government. This is the second car protest held by Sombat after a successful attempt the week before.

The protest was dubbed the ‘Sombat Tour’, copying the name of one of Thailand’s famous inter-provincial bus services. To overcome communication difficulties, the group used Clubhouse and Telegram to give directions.

Sombat said that the police were stricter this week. He could not even find parking for his own car despite having already informed them, but he was finally allowed to park in the alley next to McDonald's. He also noticed more people on motorcycles than last week.

Famous activists Parit Chiwarak, Anon Nampa and Attaphol Buapat were also spotted at the event.

"I think people in the entire country have collectively concluded that they must drive Prayut out," said Anon via Clubhouse. He said people will certainly join further activities but the event details must take into consideration the sharp surge in Covid-19 infections.

Anon Nampa sitting in a car.

The first destination of Sombat Tour was the Democrat Party, the country's oldest party which is now part of the coalition government. There was nobody waiting to receive the letter from Sombat as there had been no prior contact.

Despite being a one-sided demand, Sombat urged the party to 'stop rowing boats for a thief', referring to party leader Jurin Laksanawisit's insistence on sticking with the Prayut-led cabinet.

Sombat then arrived at the Bhumjaithai party, another coalition member. Sombat urged them also to leave the coalition. He raised a banner stating "Immunity not increased", mocking its leader, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul who is now facing pressure in his desperate attempts to control the infection rate while the national vaccine rollout is lagging behind schedule.

At 15.30, Sombat arrived at the Palang Pracharat Party, the main party in the government. He said there was a representative to receive the letter but he was not prepared for it. Instead, he showed a banner stating "PPRP=Flour".

This is a jibe against Thamanat Prompow, PPRP Secretary-General and Deputy Minister of Agriculture, who was found guilty by an Australian court of heroin smuggling in the 1990s. Thamanat later claimed in parliament that the substance was ‘flour’. 

Flour bags are spread at the front of PPRP headquarters.

The activity concluded at 16.30 as the caravan arrived at Ratchaprasong Intersection in downtown Bangkok. Sombat promised that there will certainly be another ‘car mob’.

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