Saturday, 27 March 2010

Red Shirt Victory ? 27th March 2010.

Here we are now, back in Bangkok. I spent the day walking the streets of the city of Bangkok, in the 'better' areas of the town (Sukhumvit), and around the Parliament House. What I saw was an immense number of Red Shirts in cars, in trucks, on motor bikes, and walking along the street. All with the aim of protesting what they see as the inadequate and unrepresentative current Thai government.

I did speak to one Thai man, who spoke good English, who explained to me what he saw the problem to be. The current government, the "Yellow Shirts", represent the Thai elites, based in the city of Bangkok, and ignore the wishes and needs or the poorer folk who do the work in Thailand. He also spoke of the history of the long struggle Thailand had to attain democracy, something he still does not feel that Thailand enjoys. He wants to see Thailand governed by a democratic and representative government. Noble aims.

And what seems surprising, is that things seem to be going the Red Shirt way right now. As of this afternoon the troops, which were on the street, are returning to barracks. I do not know if they are leaving against orders, but the are leaving! The Red organisers were speaking to the soldiers at length over the course of the day. I saw some soldiers holding red roses, as a sign of? I also saw many cops and soldiers take pics of the protestors. Keep in mind that many of the lower ranks come from the same social background as do many of the protesters.

What ever the cause, the streets are filled with only Reds and regular cops. No soldiers. This act should be put into context. In 1973 the Thai military killed 100s (maybe 1000s) of protesters on the streets of Bangkok. The military have also run Thailand for most of the 20th century.

The Reds are placing pressure on the unelected government of Prime Minister Abhisit. It remains to be seen what this pressure will achieve.

Good to see the people take to the streets again. We should see this in Australia !

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