Anti-government protesters rally at Pathumwan intersection on Friday evening, calling on people on the skywalk to come down and join them. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
A large crowd was building at the Pathumwan intersection in central Bangkok on Friday evening as anti-government protesters rallied for a third consecutive day.
The venue was a last-minute change after authorities sealed off the Ratchaprasong intersection, the scene of a rally that police estimate drew 13,500 people on Thursday night. The crowd left peacefully around 10pm.
The latest demonstration started at 5pm. Protesters in the streets at the intersection called out to people on the skywalk to join them on the ground.
The protesters ignored the state of emergency as they put pressure on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to step down and for authorities to release detained activists.
As many as 51 people, well-known protest leaders as well as participants, have been arrested over the past four days, according to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights. Some of the key figures in the movement are being held without bail.
Police have warned that demonstrators will be arrested if they take part in the rally as the emergency decree bans gatherings of five people or more.
The nearby Siam Paragon, Siam Center and Siam Discovery shopping complexes announced they were closing because of the rally. The National Stadium station also closed.
The event also caused the operators of the BTS and MRT to curtail some services and close some stations.
activists (noun): people who take part in activities that are intended to achieve political or social change, especially someone who is a member of an organisation - นักกิจกรรม
bail : money that is given to a court when someone is allowed to stay out of prison until their trial. If they do not return for the trial, the court keeps the money - เงินประกัน; การประกันตัว
curtail : to reduce or limit something - จำกัด, ลด
emergency decree (noun): a situation where the government takes on special powers in a dangerous situation and the rights of the people are often limited in some way - ประกาศภาวะฉุกเฉิน
ignore : to fail to pay attention to; to pretend that you have not noticed or do not know about something - เพิกเฉย
intersection : a place where roads, lines, etc., join or cross each other - สี่แยก
last-minute : something added or done at the "last minute" , before the deadline or the finishing time -
participants (noun): people who take part in something - ผู้เข้าร่วม
sealed off : to prevent people from entering or leaving an area or building - ปิด ห้ามไม่ให้เข้า
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