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Over the past few decades in Thailand, a crackdown or coup would eventually bring an end to street protests and life would more or less go back to normal until the next round of demonstrations.

But this time the Thai establishment has a bigger problem: The student-led protest movement doesn’t want power for itself — it wants to fundamentally change a political system that has seen about 20 military coups since 1932. And they also aren’t afraid to criticize the monarchy, the lynchpin that holds the system in place.

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