Bangkok, THAILAND – Anti-government protesters started donating blood Tuesday as part of a plan to splatter the Thai government headquarters in a symbolic sacrifice to press their demands for new elections.
Hundreds of red-shirted demonstrators formed long lines to have their blood drawn by nurses, a day after their leaders vowed to collect 1 million cubic centimeters of blood – the equivalent of 1,000 standard soft drink bottles – to spill at Government House by this evening.
As many as 100,000 so-called Red Shirt protesters converged Sunday on the Thai capital to demand that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva agree to dissolve parliament by midday Monday. Abhisit refused and blanketed the capital in security, but said his government was open to listening to what else the protesters have to say.
Frustrated, the protest leaders announced the “blood sacrifice,” a tactic slammed by the Red Cross as wasteful and unhygienic.
Several orange-robed Buddhist monks, who are forbidden by law from taking part in political activities, were among the first in line with one proudly showing off a syringe filled with his blood.
The Red Shirts include supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and other activists who oppose the 2006 military coup that ousted him for alleged corruption and abuse of power.