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An anti-government protester uses a sling in clashes with riot police in Bangkok, Thailand. An anti-government protester uses a sling in clashes with riot police during a protest in Bangkok, Thailand, Aug. 11, 2021 (AP photo by Sakchai Lalit).

Thailand’s Protests Are a Sign of Popular Anger and Desperation

Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021

In recent weeks, Thailand, like several other Southeast Asian countries, has erupted in increasingly ferocious street protests. Throughout August, thousands of Thais, including many young people, took to the streets to express their anger at the current government and demand changes at the top. Some younger, desperate and increasingly uncompromising demonstrators have started driving around in groups, battling police and destroying small police stations.

The demonstrations initially seemed to take the government, led by former coup leader and now Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, by surprise. But the situation has now become far more dangerous. Thai police have resorted to force, beating demonstrators and firing rubber bullets and water cannons at them. Some police may have used live ammunition, including at children protesting.  ...

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