BANGKOK, March 12 (UPI) -- Thailand is mobilizing 50,000 security forces to deal with protests planned this weekend to pressure the government into calling elections, a spokesman says.
Army spokesman Col. Sansern Kaewkummerd says officials expect the mass rallies to be peaceful, CNN reported.
The protesters, known as red shirts for the color they wear, kicked off their campaign Friday at several locations in Bangkok and towns in northern Thailand.
A few thousand protesters rallied outside the headquarters of the Thai military unit in charge of national security, Voice of America reported.
The red shirts have scheduled their biggest event Sunday when supporters of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship plan to hold their version of the "million man march."
Front leader Natthawut Saikua has said if the group's demand is not met before Monday more than 1 million red shirts will scatter to preselected rallying points throughout Bangkok, the Bangkok Post reports.