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January 13, 2014 AT 3:25 AM
Anti-government protesters aiming to shut down central Bangkok took over key intersections Monday, halting much of the traffic into the Thai capital's main business district as part of a campaign to thwart elections and overthrow the democratically elected prime minister. The intensified protests, which could last weeks or more, were peaceful and even festive, as people sporting "Shutdown Bangkok" T-shirts blew whistles, waved Thai flags of various sizes and spread out picnic mats to eat on the pavement. Former Thai Prime Minister and Leader of the opposition, Abhisit Vejjajiva, said compromise is needed. Otherwise, life continued normally in much of the capital, with most businesses and shops open.