Thailand: Protesters back on the streets despite police ban | Thailand

Hundreds of people on the streets of Bangkok oppose the ban on protests against Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and the powerful monarchy.

Hundreds of anti-government protesters demonstrated against Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and the powerful monarchy in Bangkok on Sunday and again resisted a protest ban.

The demonstrations continued despite the arrest of dozens of protesters and their leaders, the use of water cannons and the shutdown of much of Bangkok’s subway system to suppress road traffic for more than three months.

The protesters moved quickly from point to point, posting various websites for possible demonstrations on social media.

“We’ll stay until it’s over or move to another location with other activists,” said Dee, 25, one of several dozen protesters in Asok, one of Bangkok’s busiest transportation hubs.

Hundreds of people gathered at the Victory Monument, nearly three miles away.

The demonstrators in Asok put handwritten notices on the shutter, saying, “Is it good to lick the dictator’s boots?”

Some police officers gathered on the other side of the interchange, but did not intervene immediately.

“We are committed to peace and order. We are bound by laws, international standards and human rights, ”said police spokeswoman Kissana Phathanacharoen at a press conference.

The government banned demonstrations in Bangkok on Thursday [Sakchai Lalit/AP]Protesters say Prayuth held the election last year to retain the power he had seized in a 2014 coup – an accusation he denies.

The demonstrations have also become more open to King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s monarchy, breaking a long-standing taboo and calling for their power to be curtailed despite possible prison terms of up to 15 years for anyone who offends the king.

The royal palace did not comment on the protests, but the king said Thailand needs people who love the country and the monarchy.

The government banned demonstrations in Bangkok on Thursday.

During demonstrations by tens of thousands of people at multiple points in Bangkok on Saturday, protesters painted a flag on the street that read “Republic of Thailand”. The writing was colored in overnight.

Demonstrations were organized across Thailand in at least 19 other provinces on Sunday.

Solidarity protests have also been held or planned in Taiwan, Denmark, Sweden, France, the United States and Canada.