Thousands upon thousands of protesters stomp through the sweaty streets of Bangkok, demanding that the current administration step down and attempting to surround governmental buildings.
Confused tourists — whose dollars represent one of the most valuable pillars of the Thai economy — sidestep barricades in the more atmospheric neighborhoods of the capitol city, while rumblings of a military coup and municipal shutdown float through the air. It’s another restive year in Thailand.
An average armchair political scientist might conclude these Bangkok protests are just another pro-democracy people’s movement. But there’s one big difference: the protesters against Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra are taking a stance that would serve to help break down democracy, not bolster it.
They’re seeking to install an unelected “people’s council” in the Prime Minister’s stead, which would implement the political and economic reforms they seek. Democratic? Not so much.
Shinawatra has made moves to appease the protesters: she dissolved Parliament in December and has called for new elections on February 2nd, but as the current thousands-strong protests (with shots fired on Tuesday) show, they haven’t been enough.