More than 100 protesters from Pattaya calling themselves “Thai Mai Ton” took part in a protest against the Thai government in Bangkok over the weekend, despite travel restrictions currently requiring only essential travel due to the Covid19 pandemic.
The demonstrators had gathered in front of the Sukhawadee House on Sukhumvit road last Sunday with motorcycles and cars.
The group of protesters started their journey by driving from Sukhumvit Road to Bangkok. However, when the group arrived at a checkpoint in Chonburi, police wanted to stop the manned checkpoint, which was short-lived.
The Chonburi police (superfluously) told the protesters that Chonburi is one of the 29 maximum control areas due to the high number of Covid-19. Among the many restrictions and rules, it is forbidden to bring more than five people together without permission from the authorities. Violators can face up to two years in prison or a fine of up to 40,000 baht.
Mueang Chonburi police briefly blocked the way of the protest caravan, declaring that they would violate the current national emergency decree by gathering to go to Bangkok for a protest. Protests, meetings, gatherings and similar events are currently banned due to Covid-19 prevention measures.
Police also stated that the hold-up had nothing to do with politics and was only due to the Covid19 pandemic and concerns for the health of the protesters.
However, the members of the ‘Thai Mai Ton group’ didn’t care about that and
One of the protest leaders, who refused to give his name, told Chonburi police: “We listen to what you say but we don’t obey you. We will go to Bangkok from this route anyway or we will find another one. Either that or the police will have to arrest us all.”
The protesters eventually continued their journey to Bangkok after police decided to let them go to avoid any potential conflict or problem, but warned them they could spread the Covid19 virus.
The protesters took part in the rally in Bangkok and, according to their group, remained peaceful and did not participate in conflict with law enforcement officers after the car rally. Instead, according to the group, they returned home to Pattaya.
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