Thai anti-government demo blocks road with giant poster, breakdancing and selfies

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Anti-government protesters in Bangkok, Thailand, created a vast street poster as they blocked roads in the centre of the city on Friday 3 September.

Attendees wrote messages against the government on the poster, while others held performances of music, breakdancing and impromptu modelling for photos. A few sprayed graffiti directly onto the road.

The demonstration was held outside the popular Central World shopping mall.

Protesters hung mock corpses covered in red paint to symbolise Covid-19 deaths, which they blame on the country’s establishment. They also hurled red paint at a picture of prime minister, Prayuth Chan-o-cha.

Organisers said a series of demonstrations would take place across the city every evening ‘until the prime minister resigns’.

Leader Sombat Boonngam-anong said: ‘We will rally from September 2 onwards until Prayut resigns.’

Thailand’s protest movement erupted last year and stopped briefly at the height of the pandemic fear but has started again in recent weeks.

Organisers claim they are demanding democracy but demonstrations have regularly descended into violence, vandalism and chaos.

Government officials say the unrest is being funded by disaffected opposition, exiled politicians and extremist groups who encourage students to join the protests. They have cited evidence that social media bots are being used to provoke civil disobedience among impressionable youth – who could then face years in prison for getting involved with the anti-establishment rallies.

Officials have banned gatherings of more than five people and rolled out a 9pm curfew due to the Covid-19 pandemic but the laws have been ignored by the demonstrators.

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