Music show and banners before Bangkok anti-government protest turns violent

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An anti-government protest began peacefully before it descended into clashes with the police in Bangkok on Friday (13 August).

The gathering began with music performances in the street and anti-government banners.

Later, activists lit a large bonfire on a road, piled high with fruit that protesters said could not be sold because of the government's failure to manage the pandemic and its economic impacts.

Riot police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse the protest later, while protesters threw rocks at the police.

The protest, in the Din Daeng area of the capital, was cleared shortly after nightfall.

Similar scenes were seen last year but had faded away due to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, with ministers introducing laws and curfews that prevent people from gathering.

However, unrest has started again 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 fuelled by disaffected opposition and exiled politicians to encourage anarchists and youth groups to cause violence.

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