Thai protesters take to the streets for yet another demonstration of defiance


© Reuters. Anti-government demonstration in Bangkok


By Patpicha Tanakasempipat and Chayut Setboonsarng

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Hundreds of Thai anti-government protesters demonstrated in Bangkok on Sunday, again defying the ban on protests against Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and the powerful monarchy.

The protests have persisted despite the arrest of dozens of protesters and their leaders, the use of water cannons and the closures of much of the Bangkok metro in a bid to quell more than three months of street action .

Protesters moved quickly from point to point, posting different sites for possible protests on social media.

“We will stay until it’s over or move to another location with other activists,” said Dee, 25, one of dozens of protesters in Asok, one of the busiest interchanges in the city. Bangkok. Hundreds of people gathered at the Victory Monument, nearly 5 km (3 miles) by road.

Protesters in Asok posted handwritten notices on the shuttered station that read, “Does licking the dictator’s boots taste good?” and others using coarser language.

A few police officers gathered on the other side of the interchange but did not immediately intervene.

“We are committed to maintaining peace and order. To do this, we are bound by laws, international standards, human rights.” Police spokesman Kissana Phathanacharoen said at a press conference.

Protesters claim Prayuth organized last year’s election to retain power he seized in a 2014 coup – a charge he denies.

The protests have also become more openly critical of King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s monarchy, breaking a long-held taboo, demanding restrictions on his powers despite potential prison terms of up to 15 years for anyone insulting him. King.

The royal palace did not comment on the protests, but the king said Thailand needs people who love the country and the monarchy.

The government banned protests in Bangkok on Thursday.

During protests by tens of thousands at various locations across Bangkok on Saturday, protesters painted a flag on the road with “Republic of Thailand” written on it. The writing was painted overnight.

Across Thailand, protests were being held Sunday in at least 19 other provinces in solidarity. Solidarity demonstrations were also organized or planned in Taiwan, Denmark, Sweden, France, the United States and Canada.

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