In the early hours of Thursday, the government had attempted to curtail the student-led protest movement by issuing an emergency decree banning gatherings of more than four people and arresting about 20 activists.
Defying the ban, tens of thousands of people, including high-school students, gathered in Bangkok on Thursday evening. They called for the release of arrested activists. Before leaving the site of the demonstration, the protesters vowed to return on Friday evening.
The growing demonstrations have targeted King Maha Vajiralongkorn as well as Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha, who led the 2014 coup.