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Red-Shirted Thai Protesters Seize Control of TV Station

A crowd of demonstrators sporting red shirts clambered over barbed wire and battled with police and military troops before taking over an anti-government TV station in Bangkok on Friday, signaling victory by returning the People’s Television Station to broadcast mode after the Thai government had pulled its proverbial plug on Wednesday. –KA

The New York Times:

The scenes at the station seemed to suggest the prevailing winds of the moment, as soldiers with their helmets and riot shields departed single file between rows of cheering protesters, exchanging smiles and slaps on the back. One soldier, with a red ribbon tied around his wrist, raised a fist.

Several casualties were reported on both sides, but witnesses said the security forces did not appear to have made a determined stand in the face of a vigorous charge by mostly unarmed protesters.

One witness said some soldiers had fled their own tear gas as it blew back into their faces.

The protesters, who are mostly supporters of the fugitive former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, are demanding that the government step aside and call a new election. Mr. Abhisit took office in a parliamentary vote in December 2008, when a previous pro-Thaksin government was dissolved by a court for electoral fraud.

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