Protesters confront riot-control police

Demonstrators confront with riot police at Asoke Montri intersection on Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok, on Thursday morning. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

A protest group confronted riot-control police in front of Terminal 21 shopping mall on Sukhumvit Road on Thursday morning, as demonstrators took part in anti-government activities during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit.

About 100 protesters gathered outside Terminal 21, near the entrance of the MRT Sukhumvit station, to take part in an activity called “What’s happening in Thailand?’’. 

Some demonstrators carried signs with phrases such as “Expel Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha”, “Free Hong Kong” and “Hang Xi Jinping”. Police had been deployed to beef up security. They had tried to seize the protest items and kept demonstrators away from areas and routes leading to the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center (QSNCC), the venue of the Apec summit. There were reports of a few skirmishes between police and protesters.

Another protest group called “Citizens Stop Apec 2022’’ had remained at Lan Khon Mueang Town Square in front of Bangkok City Hall for two consecutive days. 

Chaos erupted around 10am on Thursday when anti-government activist Peerapong Permpool led four pickup trucks of some 20 demonstrators from Lan Khon Mueang Town Square to the Democracy Monument, where they put up protest signs. This prompted police to ask them to return to the town square, as protests were prohibited around the monument at this time. 

About 10.30am, another protest group gathered in front of Siam Cement Group (SCG) headquarters and held signs with messages calling for an end to the Apec summit and Thailand’s bio-circular-green (BCG) economic model. The BCG model would only favour investors, according to the protest group. 

Some demonstrators spray-painted messages on the road, as police warned them that their activities were in violation of the law.