Thousands of Thai pro-democracy protesters massed in multiple locations across Bangkok yesterday, defying an emergency decree banning gatherings for the third consecutive day after confrontations saw riot police use water cannon on peaceful demonstrators.
But the escalation in police tactics has not cowed the burgeoning youth-led movement, which is demanding the resignation of a premier first brought to power in a military coup and reform of the kingdom's powerful monarchy.
"I'm concerned for my safety but if I don't come out, I have no future," said business student Min, 18, equipped with a helmet and gas mask as she arrived in Bangkok's northern Lat Phrao district where more than 2,000 protestors took over a major intersection.
They raised a three-finger salute as passing vehicles honked in support and flashed a thumbs-up at the mostly black-clad protesters. At least 10,000 protesters rallied at different points of the city.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha announced Friday an emergency decree banning gatherings of more than four people. The former army chief also rebuffed calls for his resignation.
At least 65 prominent protesters have been arrested since Tuesday.