From the March 29, 2010 issue of TIME Magazine
Red is the color of anger, danger and protest. So it's fitting that supporters of former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 coup, have chosen deep scarlet as their identifying hue. Tens of thousands of Red Shirts have thronged Bangkok's government district since March 12 in increasingly virulent demonstrations demanding that current Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva step down and hold new elections. But red is also the color of blood, and in response to Abhisit's steadfast refusal to resign, the Red Shirts decided to shed their own. As dawn broke on March 16, hundreds lined up at medical tents, where nurses siphoned blood from their veins into 2-liter water bottles and juice jugs. The protesters then marched to Government House the Prime Minister's official residence and office complex and in a macabre pantomime of revolution, literally spilled their blood on the compound's gates and front steps. Ghastly? Perhaps. But certainly better than the alternative, says rice farmer Nawart Somsieng: "We can spill our blood for our country without using violence."