Thai demonstrators padlock state offices


Anti-government protesters in Thailand placed symbolic padlocks on the doors of several state offices Saturday, continuing a weeklong campaign to paralyze the administration of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Authorities, meanwhile, continued their hands-off approach to the protesters in an effort to avoid violence.

The opposition-led protesters have declared that Sunday will be their “victory day,” and have urged followers to ratchet up a weeklong campaign that included seizing the Finance Ministry, turning off power at police headquarters and camping out at a sprawling government office complex.

Amid growing concerns of violence, Saturday’s march started off tame. Protesters marched to the Department of Special Investigation, where they tried and failed to pick a lock at the front door, so placed their own padlock on it and left.

Their next targets were the nearby headquarters of two state telecommunications agencies, TOT and CAT Telecom, where they also placed padlocks on the doors meant to block workers from entering Monday morning.

The opposition-led movement accuses Yingluck of acting as a proxy for her brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.