The Thai Prime Minister has declared a state of emergency in protest of a rally in the capital, Bangkok. Protesters have demanded the resignation of the Prime Minister and the reduction of King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

The state of emergency was announced on Thai state television tonight, giving the authorities the power to use force to stop the protests. Authorities accuse protesters of causing chaos and disrespect. The emergency powers are necessary to establish law and order. They took effect at four o’clock at night local time.

The protests began in July under the leadership of students, the beginning of which can be traced to a court ordering the dissolution of the opposition party in February. They have since erupted and the protests that took place in Bangkok over the weekend were the largest in several years. Thousands of people then ignored the meeting restrictions of the authorities and demanded changes, according to the BBC.

Tents have been set up outside Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s office and protesters gathered in the king’s convoy earlier today. Prayuth is a former general who took part in a military coup in 2014. Protesters are demanding that his government resign and that the government stop persecuting protesters.

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