5-speed listening (Thailand - Level 6)

Thai protests continue despite state of emergency


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READING:

Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in Thailand's capital Bangkok, despite the government declaring a state of emergency. Police arrested dozens of the pro-democracy demonstrators. They have been protesting in cities across Thailand and online for over three months. Many of the protestors are students, but they are being joined by a wider cross-section of society. They are calling for a new constitution to ensure a true constitutional monarch under a democratic system. They are also demanding the dissolution of parliament, the resignation of Thailand's Prime Minister, and an end to "the intimidation of government critics".

The government said the protests have, "affected the government's stability, safety, property and staff". It said the protests were, "no longer a peaceful assembly," and were a threat to national security. The government announced a ban on gatherings of more than five people and prohibited the publication of online messages that could "harm national security". Police arrested 22 people on Friday for public disorder offences. There were three prominent activists among those arrested. Footage showing a woman being picked up by police and put into a police car went viral on social media. Police also photographed the crowds and warned demonstrators they could be prosecuted for violating the emergency decree.

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