Thai protesters defy government’s emergency decree banning large gatherings, demanding police ‘release our friends’

Thai protesters defy government’s emergency decree banning large gatherings, demanding police ‘release our friends’

Thousands of Thai protesters demonstrated in Bangkok on Thursday in defiance of a ban imposed to end three months of anti-government action that has targeted King Maha Vajiralongkorn as well as Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former junta leader.

“Release our friends,” protesters chanted at police, referring to the arrest of some 40 protesters this week. They held up the three-finger salute adopted as a symbol of opposition after Prayuth’s 2014 coup.

Despite police appeals over a loudspeaker to disperse, the group spilled across the Ratchaprasong Intersection in one of Bangkok’s busiest commercial districts.