Protesters throw own blood at the Thai premier's office
Published 17/03/2010 | 05:00
ANTI-GOVERNMENT protesters in Thailand threw blood donated from their supporters at the entrances of government buildings in Bangkok yesterday as part of their attempts to force the prime minister to step down and dissolve parliament.
Thousands of protesters in trademark red shirts queued in a park to donate a small amount of blood with the aim of collecting 1,000 pints to smear around the building.
"I did this to show the spirit of Thai people fighting injustice," said Chuleeporn Ruangsinprasert (52), a university worker.
"This is special, it is coming from my heart. I want to give my blood for society so we are no longer controlled by the 'elites' who have all the power."
The 'red-shirt' leaders said the donations were a example of the dedication of the masses to pressure the government into calling elections 20 months before the end of its term.
They are loyal to Thaksin Shinawatra, the former prime minister, and say he was ousted illegally by Abhisit Vejjajiva.
"The blood of the common people is mixing together to fight for democracy," Nattawut Saikua, one of the protest leaders, told cheering supporters.
"When Abhisit works in his office, he will be reminded that he is sitting on the people's blood."
Protesters massed in the broad avenue leading to government buildings, but their path was blocked by riot police.
The atmosphere remained boisterous, but peaceful, and after negotiations between 'red -shirt' leaders and police chiefs a small number of protesters brandishing plastic containers of the blood were allowed through to splash symbolic amounts at each entrance and offer prayers for the government's downfall.
A water lorry was seen later entering the grounds to wash away the blood.
The prime minister has not been at his offices since last Friday. After five days of mass demonstrations that have brought as many as 100,000 rural poor to the Thai capital, Mr Abhisit still shows no signs of being willing to accede to the protesters' demands. (© Daily Telegraph, London)