Dec. 2 - Police throw tear gas at protesters as they approach a blockade at the government house in the Thai capital.
Thai riot police on Monday (December 2) threw tear gas at protesters hoping to topple Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. The protesters had set Sunday (December 1) as "Victory Day" to oust the government but failed to achieve their goal of seizing the prime minister's office at Government House or occupying state buildings, despite intense clashes with riot police. Police mostly held their lines, firing repeated rounds of tear gas and using water cannons against 30,000 protesters, many of whom hurled rocks and petrol bombs. Yingluck was forced to flee a police compound to an undisclosed location. Some protesters helped others who were injured and helped carried away. The violence is the latest dramatic turn in a conflict pitting Bangkok's urban middle class and royalist elite against the mostly poor, rural supporters of Yingluck and her brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, a populist former prime minister ousted in a 2006 military coup. Yingluck, Thailand's first female prime minister, has called for talks with the protesters to end the protests, which have been joined by the opposition Democrats, Thailand's oldest political party. The Democrats have not won an election in more than two decades and have lost every national vote for the past 13 years to Thaksin or his allies. The protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban has rejected negotiation and has extended the deadline for bringing down the government to Tuesday (December 3). Thai protesters tear gassed by police Police throw tear gas at protesters as they approach a blockade at the government house in the Thai capital.