In a world now accustomed to democratic upheavals, including the Arab Spring and the Saffron and Orange revolutions, the weeks of political upheaval in Thailand stand out for one main peculiarity: Protesters massing on the streets here are demanding less democracy, not more.
From their stage beneath the Democracy Monument, a Bangkok landmark, protesters cheer their campaign to replace the country's Parliament with a "people's council" in which members are selected from various professions rather than elected by voters.
The embattled prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, has proposed holding new elections as a solution to the turmoil. But that is exactly what the protesters do not want.
(Read more: Thai political strife is far from over)
"I am one of the people who will not allow this election to take place," Suthep Thaugsuban, the main protest leader, told a group of business executives in Bangkok on Thursday. Continued protests "might hurt businesses," he said, "but just in the short term."
In today's fractured Thailand, a majority wants more democracy, but a minority, including many rich and powerful people, are petrified by the thought of it.