Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Bangkok on Monday as peaceful protests from the previous day escalated into the occupation of key government buildings.
While initially spurred by a controversial amnesty law scuttled by parliament last month, protesters have become emboldened, and are now demanding the resignation Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
Opposition leader Suthep Thaugsuba initially assured the massed ranks of police that the demonstration would be peaceful, claiming that his supporters would be “blowing whistles and handing out flowers.” But as Sunday’s street crowds swelled to over 150,000 – the biggest since the last violent political crisis in 2010 – Thaugsuba called for a “people’s revolution.”
On Monday, thousands occupied about a dozen buildings throughout the center of the Thai capital, including the Army HQ and the Finance Ministry.
Most remained peaceful, but shouted “Get out! Get out!” in chants aimed at Shinawatra.
The prime minister, who faces a no-confidence debate in parliament Tuesday, has remained defiant in the face of the protests.
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