Thailand Cancels Summit, Declares Emergency

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 11, 2009 6:58 AM CDT
Anti-government demonstrators storm through the 14th ASEAN convention hall Saturday, April 11, 2009, in Pattaya, Thailand, at the 14th ASEAN summit.    (AP Photo/David Longstreath)
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(Newser) – Anti-government protesters stormed a building where leaders of Asian nations were to meet today, prompting Thailand's government to cancel the summit and declare a state of emergency in the seaside city that was to host it. More than 1,000 protesters smashed through the convention center's glass doors and ran through the building, overturning tables, blowing horns, waving Thai flags and screaming, "Abhisit get out!" The leaders were evacuated by helicopter from Pattaya to a nearby military airport, AP reports.

The red-shirted protesters, who are calling for the resignation of Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, declared victory and walked away from the convention center. "We have won. We have stopped them from holding a summit," one of the protest leaders said in the capital, Bangkok. "But we have not achieved our goal yet. We will continue to protest in Bangkok until Abhisit resigns." The Foreign Ministry said all the leaders were safe.