Thais Keep Protesting as Ousted PM Calls for Revolt

By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 12, 2009 3:39 PM CDT

(Newser) – Anti-government protesters ignored Thailand’s state of emergency by the thousands today while former PM Thaksin Shinawatra called on them “to come out in revolution,” the New York Times reports. In defiance of a ban on gatherings of more than five people in Bangkok, demonstrators rallied outside the current prime minister’s home, attacked his car, and erected barricades in case of military intervention.

“The troops who have already come out can come and join the red shirts and help us to get democracy for the people,” said Thaksin, the allegedly corrupt exiled leader supported by protesters. The demonstrations are the latest development in Thailand’s ongoing political crisis, which has pitted Thaksin’s "red shirt" rural supporters against the current elite-backed government. Police today arrested a leader of the movement, CNN reports.

Red-shirted anti-government protesters and supporters of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra attack the car of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva with clubs and various objects.
Red-shirted anti-government protesters and supporters of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra attack the car of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva with clubs and various objects.   (AP Photo)
Thai police officers take up a position in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, April 12, 2009. Thailand's ousted prime minister called for a revolution Sunday after rioting erupted in the capital.
Thai police officers take up a position in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, April 12, 2009. Thailand's ousted prime minister called for a revolution Sunday after rioting erupted in the capital.   (AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)
Anti-government demonstrators listen to speeches Sunday, April 12, 2009, outside Government House in Bangkok, Thailand.
Anti-government demonstrators listen to speeches Sunday, April 12, 2009, outside Government House in Bangkok, Thailand.   (AP Photo/David Longstreath)
Thai soldiers take up a position in Bangkok, Sunday, April 12, 2009.
Thai soldiers take up a position in Bangkok, Sunday, April 12, 2009.   (AP Photo / Wason Wanichakorn)
Anti-government demonstrators carrying a portrait of former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, shout slogans.
Anti-government demonstrators carrying a portrait of former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, shout slogans.   (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
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Now that they have tanks on the streets, it is time for the people to come out in revolution. I will closely monitor the situation. If there is any violence I will return to Thailand immediately. - former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra

I believe the people have seen what happened to me. They have seen that the protesters were trying to hurt me and smash the car. - Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva

I must admit to being stunned by the ‘success’ of the red shirts; I really thought that they would never be able to mobilize the way they have. - Charles Keyes, an expert on Thailand at the University of Washington in Seattle

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