Thai Protesters Disrupt Asian Summit

Demonstrators want to show world the flaws in their government
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2009 10:22 AM CDT
An anti-government protester and supporter of ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra reacts with a heart-shape clapper during a protest outside the government house in Bangkok.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Hundreds of demonstrators in the Thai tourist town of Pattaya blocked the entrance to the building hosting an East Asian summit meeting today, giving foreign leaders a firsthand look at the country’s political schism. Economic concerns weighed heavily with the protesters, most supporters of ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra; one told the New York Times current PM Abhisit Vejjajiva leads a “government of thieves.”

Protests have risen as the economy worsens and jobs disappear, and demonstrations have peaked in the past week, with tens of thousands of people marching in Bangkok. Although the crowd dispersed in the evening after military and police presence increased, a protest leader promises to return when the summit continues tomorrow: “Our goal is to fight the government—wherever they go, we will go.”