Thai protesters plan rally on Sunday while evading authorities

BANGKOK (BLOOMBERG) – Anti-government protesters in Thailand planned to gather again in Bangkok on Sunday (Oct 18) despite a ban on large groups and police crackdowns on demonstrations in recent days.

Protest organisers are using social media to arrange rallies without giving exact locations ahead of time to avoid being thwarted by authorities. A similar tactic was used on Saturday when tens of thousands of protesters met at several venues across the capital.

Several rail stations have been ordered to shut ahead of Sunday’s demonstrations, according to a police statement.

Organisers had told supporters of the movement in Bangkok to be ready at train stations by 3 pm local time (4pm Singapore time) to await further instructions. They later announced the protest will be held at Victory Monument in central Bangkok.

Several protests are also planned in other cities across Thailand.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-Ocha had asked authorities to be on the lookout for groups that might incite violence during protests, government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said on Sunday.

The protesters are calling for greater democracy and reform to the monarchy. They have broken long-held taboos about publicly criticising the royal family and have questioned laws that stifle discussion of the monarchy.

They’re also calling for the resignation of Prayut’s government and a rewriting of the constitution, which was drafted by a military-appointed panel after the premier, a former army chief, took power in a 2014 coup.

The activists say the charter was instrumental in helping Prayut retain power after the 2019 elections.

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