Thailand protest: in pictures

Thailand's red-shirt demonstrators are entering their third day of protests. Here are photographs fr

Above, supporters of the ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra (one of them wearing a mask of the man himself) shout slogans.

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A pro-Thaksin supporter holds a syringe full of blood at a protest site. Protesters are donating their blood with the intention of collecting one million cubic centimeters, to be thrown in demonstrations outside Government House.

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A nurse deposits blood in a bottle. The protesters' unusual step comes as the current prime minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, continues to reject calls for dissolution of the House and a fresh election.

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Spirits are high among Thaksin supporters, shown here waiting in line to donate their blood.

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The protests have so far been non-violent, and the mood remains jovial but determined.

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However, tens of thousands of state paratroopers remain on standby. According to the BBC, army leaders say they plan to be flexible and gentle.

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Buddhist monks join the rally. They are among those who have brushed off concerns about how hygienic the mass blood donation is.

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The streets outside the 11th Infantry Battalion barracks and at other protest sites in Bangkok remain full, though some reports say that, on day three of the protests, numbers are beginning to dwindle.

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Samira Shackle is a freelance journalist, who tweets @samirashackle. She was formerly a staff writer for the New Statesman.

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Police shoot man in parliament

A man carrying what appeared to be a knife was shot by armed police after entering the parliamentary estate. 

From the window of the parliamentary Press Gallery, I have just seen police shoot a man who charged at officers while carrying what appeared to be a knife. A large crowd was seen fleeing from the man before he entered the parliamentary estate.

After several officers evaded him he was swiftly shot by armed police.

Ministers have been evacuated and journalists ordered to remain at their desks. 

More follows. Read Julia Rampen's news story here.

Armed police at the cordon outside Parliament on Wednesday afternoon. Photo: Getty

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.