Pro-democracy protesters in Thailand battled police who sought to keep them from entering the grounds of Parliament on November 17, to press for constitutional changes as lawmakers debated whether to back proposed amendments.
About 40 people were injured, including five who were shot. It was unclear who fired the shots and whether they were live rounds or rubber bullets. Some of the injuries occurred during a brawl between the pro-democracy protesters and stone-throwing royalists who oppose constitutional change.
It was the worst violence during months of actions by the protesters, though police had previously employed water cannons at least twice.
The protest movement has been staging increasingly determined mass rallies of thousands of people around the country. Lawmakers are scheduled to vote on seven proposed constitutional amendments during a two-day joint session of the elected House and appointed Senate.
Constitutional changes require a joint vote of both bodies. Any motions that are passed will have to go through second and third votes at least a month after this week’s balloting.
Lawmakers adjourned a previous session without voting on proposed amendments, leading the protesters to accuse the government of bad faith.