02 August 2021

Car Mob

Car Mob

Riot police in Bangkok have used rubber bullets against pro-democracy protesters for the fifth time this year. At yesterday’s Car Mob rally, protesters formed a convoy of cars and motorcycles, to maintain social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic. Similar demonstrations were held simultaneously in more than two dozen other provinces.

Early yesterday evening, after the protest ended, some stragglers remained near the Viphavadi Rangsit Road military barracks, and threw projectiles and firecrackers at police. Riot police deployed water cannon and tear gas to disperse them.

Rubber bullets were first used on 28th February against protesters on Viphavadi Rangsit Road, then on 20th March at Sanam Luang, and on 2nd May outside Bangkok’s Criminal Court. On 18th July, rubber bullets were used again, near Government House.


The Car Mob movement is led by former red-shirt activist Sombat Boonngamanong. Thais on both sides of the political divide use the word ‘mob’ to refer to the protests; this is not necessarily a reappropriation of the term by the protesters.

The music video for Rap Against Dictatorship’s Budget (งบประมาณ) was filmed at a Car Mob protest. The single (one of several recent anti-government songs) excoriates Prayut Chan-o-cha and his government for increasing the military budget while failing to provide sufficient vaccines or adequate healthcare during the coronavirus pandemic.

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