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Duck and cover: Blow-up mascots star at Thai protests - Metro US

Duck and cover: Blow-up mascots star at Thai protests

Pro-democracy demonstrators move inflatable rubber ducks during a rally in Bangkok

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thai police have water cannon and teargas to fire at protesters. The answer: Inflatable yellow pool ducks.

The giant ducks starred on Wednesday as thousands of protesters massed outside police headquarters in Bangkok.

They had first made an appearance on Tuesday outside parliament in the most violent day of months of demonstrations as protesters used them as shields to advance towards police lines.

“They’re like a mascot now. I saw them being used as shields. Maybe they are not that strong but they are a good stunt,” said a 27-year-old protester named Earn as she posed for a photo with three of the ducks.

One protester said the ducks had originally been bought for fun, but were used as impromptu shields when police used water cannon.

“If the police hadn’t fired water cannon at us, we wouldn’t have had to use them as a shield,” said one protester who gave her name as Wim.

Police did not respond immediately to a request for comment on use of the ducks. Police did not use water cannon or teargas on Wednesday as protesters sprayed water and splashed paint at police headquarters.

Similar ducks were offered for around 2,800 baht ($90) each by several suppliers on Lazada, a popular online shopping site in Thailand.

Protests began in July and seek the removal of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha – a former junta leader, changes to the constitution and curbs on the powers of King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

“Long Live the King,” protesters shouted sardonically at the convoy of ducks borne head high at Wednesday’s protest.

(Writing by Matthew Tostevin; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

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