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Thailand Politics

100,000 Red Shirts Mobilize to Converge on Bangkok



Thai Red Shirts leader warns of battle ahead

Thai Red Shirts leader
warns of battle ahead


CHIANG MAI – The Red Shirts in 20 northeastern provinces, say they won’t take the removal of Ms. Yingluck lying down. The group was formed in the aftermath of the coup that removed Ms. Yingluck’s brother Thaksin Shinawatra from office in 2006, and led mass protests in Bangkok in 2010 to push for fresh elections.

Nearly 100 were killed when security forces moved into quash the protests, further radicalizing many members of the populist, grassroots group.

Now many of the group’s leaders say they are ready to march on Bangkok in what they say is an effort to protect Thailand’s fragile democracy. Thousands of Red Shirts, so named for their choice of clothing, rallied on Tuesday night in Nonthaburi, just outside Bangkok. Jatuporn Prompan, one their main leaders, called for more protests Wednesday, and the group aims to stage a major rally on Saturday.

“All doors are open for this battle,” Mr. Jatuporn said in a speech Tuesday. “You don’t have to be a Red Shirt to join. You just have to believe in democracy.”

Other Red Shirt leaders are instructing their followers, many of whom are located in north and northeast Thailand, to pack food and clothing and make their way to Bangkok for further rallies.

In addition to the Constitutional Court ruling, Ms. Yingluck is being investigated by the country’s National Anti-Corruption Commission for mishandling a multi-billion dollar rice subsidy. If she is found guilty, she will be suspended from duty and face and impeachment trial in the Senate. The commission’s ruling is imminent.

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