Tens of thousands of red—shirted protesters threatened to force soldiers from the historic heart of Thailand’s capital, raising tensions in what so far has been a nonviolent bid to bring down the government.
Riding on motorcycles and in pickup trucks, the protesters travelled in a noisy parade to seven locations including the Bangkok zoo and Buddhist temples being used by soldiers as temporary camps.
Some of the soldiers packed their belongings and left to avoid clashes, drawing raucous cheers from the protesters, who are entering their third week on the streets of the capital.
“We will storm the places where soldiers camp out. We’ll shake the fence. We’ll cut the barbed wire. We’ll march through the barricades. We’ll march for democracy!” a leader of the “Red Shirt” protesters, Nattawut Saikua, shouted to the crowd. “This is where we’ll end military suppression. This is where we’ll create democracy.”