Thai protesters set to defy ban with rallies outside Bangkok, PM Prayut says he won’t resign

Thai protesters set to defy ban with rallies outside Bangkok, PM Prayut says he won’t resign

Anti-government protesters plan to defy a ban on gatherings in Thailand’s capital for a third day and hold rallies across the nation, escalating a three-month-old movement in support of monarchy reform and greater democracy.

Pro-democracy protesters will return to stage a demonstration in Bangkok later on Friday (Oct 16) after tens of thousands of them defied an emergency declared by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Thursday to quell the escalating demonstrations.

Parit Chiwarak, arrested during the demonstration near the Premier’s office on Wednesday, urged his supporters to “keep staging protests” until their demands are met.

Protesters shouting “Prayut get out” occupied the Ratchaprasong intersection in the middle of Bangkok’s main shopping district for several hours on Thursday, demanding the release of leaders arrested by the police in a morning raid. The crowds swelled throughout the evening before dispersing around 10pm.

Mr Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Friday he was not resigning and that the emergency measures would last up to 30 days.