Thai police wiped out new emergency measures and arrested more than 20 people on Thursday, and democratic activists reported that a few prominent leaders had been detained.
The arrest occurred after thousands of people gathered in Bangkok, including the route of the royal convoy, and many raised their rebellious three fingers.
Salutes borrowed from The Hunger Games books and movies have been used by youth-led movements as a symbol of democratic change.
Some protesters also called for a reform of the kingdom’s monarchy-a former taboo issue due to strict royal defamation laws.
Anti-government protests continued overnight, and before dawn Thursday authorities issued an emergency decree banning rallies of four or more people.
“More than 20 people have been arrested,” said police deputy spokesman Kissana Phathanacharoen.
Kissana added that student leaders calling to meet for a new protest on Thursday were “cheating.”
The Thai government has banned the publication of news and online messages that could harm the rally of five or more people and national security under an urgent decree to end the street protests in Bangkok.
Thai authorities have also arrested two leaders of anti-government protests, Arnon Nampa and Panupong Jadnok, a group of Thai human rights lawyers said.
“Authorities arrested Arnon and Panupon at 5 am,” the rights group said, adding that Mr Arnon was arrested in a speech in the northern city of Chiang Mai. He said it was not clear why Mr Panupon was arrested.
The protests escalated for three months, and protesters set up a camp outside Prime Minister Prayut Chan-Ocha’s office to demand his resignation late Wednesday.
The government said it acted even after the demonstrators blocked the royal convoy.
“In order to maintain peace and order, it is very necessary to introduce emergency measures to end this situation effectively and quickly,” state television said.
A document was attached that banned large-scale rallies from 4 am local time and provided measures to ban access to areas designated by the authorities.
“The disclosure of news, other media, and electronic information, including messages that may fear or deliberately distort information, creates misunderstandings that affect national security or peace and order.” It is prohibited.
Tens of thousands of protesters marched in Bangkok on Wednesday.
The protests are aimed at eliminating Mr. Prayut, who came to power in the 2014 coup d’etat, which was intended to end the decade of violence between supporters and opponents of the country’s establishment.
People marching on the streets also want a new constitution, calling for a reduction in the power of King Maha Vajralongkorn-breaking the long-standing taboo of criticizing the monarchy.
After 21 protesters were arrested, the protesters shouted in the Bangkok King’s convoy on Tuesday.
After spending most of his time abroad, the King, who returned from Germany for a few weeks, drove with Queen Stida through a crowd of peaceful protesters on Wednesday.
Some protesters salute the three-finger salute, a gesture against the democratic movement borrowed from the popular The Hunger Games movie, and tell the police protecting the vehicle to “go out.” It was.
Such an obvious challenge to monarchy is unprecedented in Thailand, where royal influence pervades every aspect of society.
A youth-led movement to reform the monarchy has sparked a backlash from the establishment of a solid royalist sect in Thailand.
“The monarchy is more than 700 years old,” said Sirilak Kasemsawat, one of the thousands of royal supporters waiting “to show that we love the king.” ..
Government spokesman Anucha Burapachiasri announced late Wednesday that the prime minister had ordered police to accuse “protesters of obstructing the royal convoy.”
He said in a statement that he would also be prosecuted for “those who acted in a way that slandered the monarchy.”
“They must face legal proceedings without exception.”
Several popular rebel movements have arisen in the turbulent modern history of Thailand, which has endured long attacks of political instability and the success of more than 12 military coups since 1932.
The military has long established itself as the only defender of the ultra-rich, whose power has spread to all aspects of Thai society.
Activists have repeatedly said that they only want the monarchy to adapt to the present day.
Their demands include the abolition of the strict royal defamation law that protects the king from criticism and the departure of the monarch from politics.
“We’re just asking them to change with us,” protester dear Satcha told AFP.