Deadlock ahead of Thai blood protest

BANKOK: Thailand was locked in political stalemate today with demonstrators planning a fresh protest with their own blood after refusing talks offered by the government.

Buoyed by a huge parade, the defiant “Red Shirts” said they would paint a white canvas with blood left over from the gallons donated by supporters and splattered on the prime minister’s house and offices over the past week.

“We will depict our fighting in poems and paintings,” Red Shirt poet Visa Kantab told the red-clad crowd gathered at their main rally site in Bangkok’s old quarter today, the eighth day of their protest.

“After we have finished, we

will display our artwork on the stage, and after we are victorious, we will frame it as evidence of history,” he said.

The Reds back ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra and say the current government is illegitimate, as it came to power with army backing via a December 2008 parliamentary vote after a controversial court ruling removed his allies.

In what they have increasingly dubbed a “class war,” the mainly poor and rural Reds say they are fighting Thailand’s elite in bureaucratic, military and palace circles, whom they accuse of ousting elected governments.

Saturday’s carnival-like protests, which swelled to 65,000 people, aimed to recruit urban support and revive their waning rally demanding the dissolution of parliament and immediate elections.