Anti-government protesters block Ratchaprasong intersection in Bangkok on Thursday night, calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. (Photo by Arnun Chonmahatrakool)
Anti-government protesters blocked Bangkok's Ratchaprasong intersection late on Thursday afternoon, pushed away rows of riot police and shouted for the ouster of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Hundreds of demonstrators first gathered outside CentralWorld shopping centre, on one corner of the intersection, shortly before 4pm, the time student leaders announced for a fresh rally before being arrested near Government House on Thursday morning.
"Down with dictatorship... Get out... Release our friends," demonstrators were heard shouting in front of the shopping complex.
The protesters, mostly young people and including high school students, then moved to Ratchadamri Road, next to the intersection, and blocked the road.
Police read out the state of emergency over loud speakers, saying it prohibited the rally and warned them of legal action.
The crowd pushed back the police and occupied Ratchaprasong intersection. They also kept shouting out rude references to the prime minister. Local shopping malls were closed.
Former student Chonthicha Chaengrew said demonstrators would not stay overnight. They would keep forming flash rallies. Demonstrators had to change their tactics, she said.
The demonstrators would stand by their demands for the ouster of the prime minister, the reform of the royal institution and that His Majesty the King refrain from endorsing any future coups, she said.
At 7.30pm, the demonstrators shook the doors and managed to enter the skywalk at the intersection.
At 9.30pm, a Free People leader told the crowd to stay until 10pm and then go home.
5. Despite crackdowns, our brave Thai friends now defy the new law & flock to streets to protest against tyrannical rules. On their fight for #DemocracyforThai, we should not let them fight alone. #LongLivethePeople!pic.twitter.com/HWchFYW0Vc#15ตุลาไปราชประสงค์ #MilkTeaAlliance— Joshua Wong 黃之鋒 (@joshuawongcf) October 15, 2020
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coup : the seizure of power in a country by a group of people, usually members of the armed forces - รัฐประหาร
demonstrators : people who march with other people in public to show that they support or oppose something - ผู้ชุมนุมประท้วง
dictatorship : a government having complete power and which does not rule democratically - เผด็จการ
endorse : to express support for something - แสดงความเห็นชอบ
flash mob : a sudden gathering of people -
institution : an important tradition or system upon which society is based - สถาบัน
occupied : (of a place) controlled by a group of people, a country, etc. - ครอบครอง
ouster : forcing someone out of a position of power - ขับออกจากอำนาจ
refrain : to stop yourself from doing something - ระงับ เลิก
rude : not polite - หยาบคาย
state of emergency : a dangerous situation in which the government takes on special powers and the rights of the people are often limited in some way - ภาวะฉุกเฉิน
tactic : a planned way of doing something - ยุทธวิธี