The Battle for Thailand

Paula Bronstein / Getty Images

Protesters push back inside the Government House complex

The Thais know how to throw a good party — and the one unfolding in the center of Bangkok was a doozy. With the scent of grilled squid and beer in the air, thousands of citizens from across Thailand grooved to rocking guitar riffs and cheered until their voices grew hoarse. But beneath the revelry lay a measure of menace. These were not simple partygoers but protesters from the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), who on Aug. 26 besieged Government House, Thailand's seat of power, vowing to occupy the manicured grounds until Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej resigned. At first,...

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