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Thai protestors defy bans

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Tens of thousands of Thai protesters cheered and chanted into the night in central Bangkok on Thursday in a show of mass defiance to a ban on demonstrations designed to end more than three months of anti-government action.

As they dispersed at 10 p.m. (1500 GMT), protesters pledged to return to the same place every day.

Growing demonstrations have targeted King Maha Vajiralongkorn as well as Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former junta leader, in the biggest challenge for years to an establishment long dominated by the army and palace.

“Like dogs cornered, we are fighting till our deaths,” Panupong “Mike Rayong” Jadnok, one the high-profile protest leaders who remains free, told the crowd. “We won’t fall back. We won’t run away. We won’t go anywhere.”

Protesters ignored police appeals to disperse and spilled from the Ratchaprasong Intersection across streets and walkways, their mobile phones shimmering in the night. The location was the scene of bloodshed in 2010, during more than a decade of violence between supporters and opponents of the Thai establishment.

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