A group of Pattaya protesters held what they called a ‘Car Mob’ rally from Pattaya to Laem Chabang to “welcome” and protest the Thai Prime Minister, Prayut Chan O’Cha, who visited Chonburi today (September 17th).
The Pattaya News notes they described themselves as a car mob and used social media tags to describe themselves as so.
The protest started at the Big C mall in South Pattaya and was led by the leader Mr. Wanchalerm Kunsane. This group has held several protests over the past few months, primarily protesting the government’s policies and plans around Covid-19, including the vaccine rollout, allocation, and restrictions and regulations that have seen many businesses shut for months, putting thousands of people out of work. Their protests have mostly targeted the Prime Minister, asking for him to resign for what they call his mishandling of the pandemic.
Protesters in their vehicles were rallying together by honking horns and displaying signs, banners, and ribbons to let the Thai Prime Minister know they are disappointed in his performance.
Police and district officers have inspected around the area to make sure there was no violence. Police also informed the group that rallies and assemblies, including protests, were against Thai law currently to “prevent the spread of Covid-19”. However, the protest group did not disperse despite the warnings of law enforcement. Police, however, took a “soft approach” and did not attempt to forcefully break up the assembly.
Protesters were planning on heading to Laem Chabang in Si Racha where the Prime Minister inspected a ‘Factory Sandbox’ project. The Factory Sandbox allows factories to continue staying open and working while conducting regular testing for Covid-19, housing all staff at the complex and quarantining positive cases on-site at special field hospitals. According to the PM, factory sandboxes are essential to keeping the Thai export business successfully running despite the Covid-19 situation in Thailand.
Protesters were, despite their best efforts, unable to approach directly the factories where the Prime Minister was visiting due to many police checkpoints and roadblocks. There was not, however, any violence and protesters stayed peaceful while voicing their opinions. Protesters have vowed more rallies and assemblies over the next several weeks.