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article imageProtesters in Thailand collect blood to topple government

By R. C. Camphausen     Mar 16, 2010 in Politics
Although there has been no violence, the protester's blood has begun to flow freely in Bangkok. Volunteers are collecting blood they may use tomorrow in order to lay a curse on the government if it does not dissolve itself.
Bangkok, Thailand - It is day three in the mass protests of Thailand's so-called red shirts, officially known as the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), and while both sides - protesters and government security forces - have abstained from using violence, liters of blood are being shed right now as demonstrators and their leaders volunteer to donate their precious life-blood.
Should the government step down, the envisioned one million cubic centimeter (cc) or a thousand liters of blood may be donated to appropriate clinics, yet if not ... the protesters plan to inundate government office in what the regard as their sacrificial blood.
Covering the situation in Bangkok, the BBC reported this on Tuesday morning: Red Shirt leader Veera Musikapong was the first to donate.
"This blood is a sacrificial offering. To show our love for the nation, to show our sincerity," he said.
He and other leaders said their blood would be spilled at the entrance to Government House in Bangkok's historic quarter at 1800 (1100 GMT) if Mr Abhisit continued to refuse their demands to dissolve parliament.
"If Abhisit is still stubborn, even though he does not have blood on his hands, his feet will be bloodied with our curses," another leader Nattawut Saikur said.
But that's not all the protesters are planning. According to the Bangkok Post, another million cc will be collected if the first blood throwing curse won't work, and perhaps even a third thousand liters; showing how determined the demonstrators are to topple the current government that came into power after a military coup n 2006. All the red shirts want, in fact, is that Thailand returns to be a democracy with leaders that have been elected.
Should the blood-throwing action show no results, Mr Natthawut Saikur seems to threaten with more drastic actions when he said:
"If three million cc's of blood have been spilled and the prime minister still refuses to step down, I can guarantee that he will not have the time, not even a minute, to perform his duties."
Not everyone, however, is happy about the so-called blood donation, and the same Bangkok Post has another article in which villagers who came to Bangkok for the protests rather do not give up their blood, fearing that this would weaken them.
Also the Red Cross is unhappy, fearing that the collection of blood may not be up to its standards. The protesters, meanwhile, say that all donors have their blood taken by qualified doctors or nurses.
Until now, the current Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has refused all demands for his resignation.
Previous Digital Journal items concerning this can be found here and here.
Update: Five hours later, the BBC has video footage of how the first blood is splashed under the gate of Government House in the capital.
More about Blood curse, Red shirts, Thailand, Protest, Military coup
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