A royal avenue at the centre of Thailand's brewing political conflict

The exuberance was palpable as the crowd gathered at Bangkok’s Democracy Monument under a darkening sky.

Forming human chains, they carefully removed hundreds of potted plants inside the traffic circle – adornment that made it look more like a medieval French garden than a towering reminder of the day in 1932 when the king was forced to give up absolute power. The protesters said they wanted to reclaim the monument for the people.

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