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Thailand protesters defy ban

Pro-democracy protesters in Bangkok on Thursday Associated Press/Photo by Wason Wanichakorn

Thailand protesters defy ban

Thousands of people gathered on the streets of Bangkok on Thursday after Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha declared a “severe” state of emergency. Demonstrators chanted, “release our friends,” and called police officials “slaves of dictatorship.” Thursday’s order bans large gatherings and online posts that threaten national security. Police said they detained 22 people.

What triggered the emergency declaration? Tens of thousands of protesters attended a rally on Wednesday. When a royal motorcade drove by, instead of sitting on the ground or prostrating as is the custom, the protesters chanted and shouted at it. Protesters have flooded Thailand’s streets since July demanding new elections, constitutional reform, and an end to the crackdown on government critics. Wednesday’s rally coincided with the anniversary of the 1973 student-led demonstrations against the military dictatorship.

Dig deeper: Read my World Tour report on what fueled the protests.

Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD’s Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University–Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria.



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