Thousands of protesters have spread out across Bangkok, storming the prime minister's office and forcing Thai state television off the air, reports the BBC. The mass protest movement seeks to force out the government of Samak Sundaravej, whom they see as a stooge for ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, now on the lam. "We are now controlling most of the key government offices to prevent them from coming to work," said one protest leader.
Although the protest movement calls itself the People's Alliance for Democracy, the demonstrators are actually royalists who oppose Western-style elections in Thailand. Similar protests by the PAD set the stage for the military coup that brought down Thaksin in 2006. But the head of the military reassured Thais that this time "the army will not launch a coup. "