Protesters Occupy Government Buildings In Thailand

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Updated: Nov. 25, 10:15 a.m.

Protestors in Bangkok took to the streets, clashed with police and occupied government buildings on Monday to demand the resignation of Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra amid allegations that the government is actually being run by her brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Thaksin was overthrown in a military coup in 2006.

In the fallout from Monday’s protests, Yingluck imposed an emergency security law to help curb demonstrators, allowing authorities to seal off roads, impose curfews and cut access to electronic devices in certain areas.

Over 150,000 protestors flooded the streets Sunday demanding an end to what they called the “Thaksin regime” in one of the biggest protests in Thailand’s recent history. By Monday, demonstrators were occupying the finance and foreign ministries as part of a strategy to cripple the government by preventing public servants from going to work, the Associated Press reports. There were also reports of clashes with riot police (see video at bottom).

“Go up to every floor, go into every room, but do not destroy anything,” protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban told the demonstrators. “Make them see this is people’s power!”

Thaksin has been a controversial figure ever since he was ousted in 2006 and convicted of corruption. He has lived in a self-imposed exile to avoid serving prison time, and the government has been run by his sister, Yingluck. The recent demonstrations were sparked in opposition to a government-backed political amnesty bill that many thought was designed to bring Thaksin back home. The bill has since been defeated, but the protestors remain determined to topple the “Thaksin regime.”

This post has been updated to reflect Yingluck’s invoking of the emergency security law.