Protesters congratulated for "reclaiming country with bare hands"

Rally leader Suthep Thaugsuban spent seven hours on Monday leading a march from the Government Complex on Chaeng Wattana Road to the Government House on Phitsanulok Road. Speaking on a newly set up stage in front of the Government House, Suthep said that today was a historic day for Thailand, the day all Bangkok roads were crowded with antigovernment protesters.

"We should be proud of ourselves that this is the first time the people, owners of the country, reclaimed the country from a corrupt government with our bare hands. We do it today, my fellow Thais," Suthep told the cheering crowds.

He also claimed that tonight would be the first time the protesters would stay overnight in the middle of the streets.

He joked that he did not feel any pain in his legs after the long walk. "But my arms ache instead because I was waving to our supporters all along the route," he said.

He added that because he is the most senior member of People's Democratic Reform Committee, the other members had ensured he had the longest march.