Thai protesters block traffic, stage mass picnic at major intersection on new march to oust PM

Thailand's anti-government protesters have returned to the streets of Bangkok, blocking midday traffic and turning one of the capital's major intersections into a lunchtime picnic spot.

More than 2,000 people have joined the protest by midday Thursday, a far smaller crowd than earlier in the month.

Protest leaders say the march is a warm-up for a mass rally called for Sunday in their ongoing bid to force Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to resign.

Yingluck dissolved Parliament last week and called for a snap election Feb. 2 to defuse the crisis that started several weeks ago.

Protest leaders are demanding that Yingluck, who remains the country's caretaker prime minister, step down before any polls take place to pave the way for pre-election reforms.