Blood was spilled on March 16, the third day of mass demonstrations in Bangkok, but not in the way that many had feared. Anti-government protesters pooled their blood — drawn by medical workers in air-conditioned tents — to unleash a red tide at the gates of Government House, the office of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, and later at his party’s headquarters. Their so-called Red Shirt protest movement remains resentful over the 2006 military coup that ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who championed rural and poorer voters. The movement accuses the current government of favoring the country’s wealthy elite, and has been angered by a series of court decisions in recent years banning political parties allied with Thaksin. The protesters want the government to call elections, and with the backing of vast rice-growing areas in the north and northeast of the country, they would have a good shot at winning. (New York Times)

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