Police arrest 21 at Thai pro-democracy rally

Bangkok, Oct 13 (AFP/APP):Police arrested 21 protesters Tuesday during a Bangkok rally that saw dozens of people give a royal motorcade a three-fingered salute — a show of defiance by Thai pro-democracy activists calling for reforms to the monarchy.

Since July, Thailand has seen frequent youth-led demonstrations demanding the resignation of Premier Prayut Chan-O-Cha, a former army chief. Some in the leaderless movement have also called for reform to the monarchy — a once-taboo topic due to Thailand’s harsh royal defamation laws. Tuesday’s protest at Democracy Monument — a major intersection that has been the site of previous demonstrations — drew dozens of supporters chanting and dancing in front of police.

Authorities moved in to clear the road in the late afternoon for a royal motorcade ferrying King Maha Vajiralongkorn, deputy police spokesman Colonel Kissana Phathanacharoen told AFP. “Officers tried to negotiate with the protesters who were occupying the area.

They were uncooperative,” he said. Charges against the 21 protesters include obstructing police and “causing disorder”, said a police press release.

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