Protesters defiant as new rally hashtag trends on social media platforms

Protesters are taking to social media in defiance of government orders to not advocate for or attend a planned rally at Rajprasong on Thursday.

The activists and students are planning to demonstrate against the arrest of protest-leaders and the imposition of a state of emergency by the Prayut Chan-ocha administration.

Prime Minister Prayut said that an incident that happened during large scale demonstrations on Wednesday between a royal motorcade and protesters that saw demonstrators heckling the motorcade was unacceptable. The premier said that decisive action would be taken against the protesters for bringing the monarchy into disrepute.

The government then declared a State of Emergency on Thursday morning before moving into the protest area and forcefully arresting protest leaders.

Police said that the imposition of the emergency decree meant that anyone planning to attend a rally against the arrests at Rajprasong on Thursday afternoon at 4 pm would be arrested and charged. Police spokesman Krissana Pattanacharoen went one step further and said that anyone advocating others to go to the protest on social media would also face arrest.

Despite the threat of detention, Thai netizens rallied around the hashtag #15ตุลาไปราชประสงค์ (15 October go to Rajprasong) with over 68,000 posts within minutes of it appearing on social media.

The protesters say they will defy the SOE orders and rally against the government and for the immediate release of protest leaders.

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