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Sunday Red Shirt Rally


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It's not like I can avoid this weekend's rally since it's right on Ratchadamri where I live.  Today Central World, Amarin, Gaysorn, and Siam Paragon were all closed.  They even closed the McDonald's!!! Oh the horror!!  What are these red shirts doing?  :-)

Actually, regardless of politics I found the red shirts to be pretty well behaved.  I was surprised at how organized logistically they are.  They had people handing out water to the thirsty crowds, they had some sort of water tents that I assume were for showering or cooling off in (they were tented over so I couldn't see inside), and even people going around and picking up trash to keep the streets clean.  

There weren't a whole lot of farangs around so I sort of stuck out like a sore thumb (that and my lack of red clothing).  But people were smiling everywhere I went.  They waved, asked for their pictures to be taken, and were generally a friendly and polite.  Not really the angry, violent mobs that the press had us believe that they were going to be when they first showed up in Bangkok.  They just seemed like normal working class folks with a beef.  

The mood is hard to describe because although it was friendly and from time to time they broke into Thai songs, the angry speeches didn't need translated for you to get the flavor of what was being said.  All I needed to understand was Abhisit, Go Hok, and Sua Daeng sprinkled liberally into a speech.  Every so often the rally leader would angrily scream "Abhisit" and the crowd would yell something back (I couldn't make it out in Thai, sorry).  Then he would repeat even louder "Abhisit!" and the crowd would again yell back the same thing.  Repeat that for about 5 or 6 rounds.  

Hearing the rally leader's voice and the chanting back from the crowd did sort of make me think that they could be whipped up into a violent mob but soon enough they would break into a huge applause and would be smiling and banging their clappers again. 

Anyway, like I said, I'm really not invested in this from a political point of view.  It was something historical happening down my soi and so I thought I would go out and try to see it up close and personal.  

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It's not like I can avoid this weekend's rally since it's right on Ratchadamri where I live.  Today Central World, Amarin, Gaysorn, and Siam Paragon were all closed.  They even closed the McDonald's!!! Oh the horror!!  What are these red shirts doing?  :-)

Actually, regardless of politics I found the red shirts to be pretty well behaved.  I was surprised at how organized logistically they are.  They had people handing out water to the thirsty crowds, they had some sort of water tents that I assume were for showering or cooling off in (they were tented over so I couldn't see inside), and even people going around and picking up trash to keep the streets clean.  

There weren't a whole lot of farangs around so I sort of stuck out like a sore thumb (that and my lack of red clothing).  But people were smiling everywhere I went.  They waved, asked for their pictures to be taken, and were generally a friendly and polite.  Not really the angry, violent mobs that the press had us believe that they were going to be when they first showed up in Bangkok.  They just seemed like normal working class folks with a beef.  

The mood is hard to describe because although it was friendly and from time to time they broke into Thai songs, the angry speeches didn't need translated for you to get the flavor of what was being said.  All I needed to understand was Abhisit, Go Hok, and Sua Daeng sprinkled liberally into a speech.  Every so often the rally leader would angrily scream "Abhisit" and the crowd would yell something back (I couldn't make it out in Thai, sorry).  Then he would repeat even louder "Abhisit!" and the crowd would again yell back the same thing.  Repeat that for about 5 or 6 rounds.  

Hearing the rally leader's voice and the chanting back from the crowd did sort of make me think that they could be whipped up into a violent mob but soon enough they would break into a huge applause and would be smiling and banging their clappers again. 

Anyway, like I said, I'm really not invested in this from a political point of view.  It was something historical happening down my soi and so I thought I would go out and try to see it up close and personal.  

4488460265_2723f5a8c6.jpg

4489107408_6e79e87450.jpg

4489105816_da0322e484.jpg

4489101492_777018eece.jpg

4489097082_1c36db7d64.jpg

4488444083_0ae6d3c71a.jpg

4489092002_e2dc7e9650.jpg

4488435815_0335c306e3.jpg

4489075734_18c474309b.jpg

4489063086_a324bcb974.jpg

4488400247_de020e00a7.jpg

4488397803_ef04d86155.jpg

4489045256_95a42999bf.jpg

4488389831_74c4787ba5.jpg

4489039016_ba8208089c.jpg

4488382601_32400e7758.jpg

4489020312_e96444a083.jpg

4489015352_c40fc4ed50.jpg

4488368749_9ed4ba6ccb.jpg

4489016728_4d6da91f5c.jpg

4488998058_53249ea2e5.jpg

4488999036_e73d726343.jpg

4488455301_6dbe08217d.jpg

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they are actually protesting that my caption did not win the photo caption contest last week

---> what they were saying was :" DANNO's should have won!"

as you can tell by your pics the "power to the people signs you are seeing in the first couple of shots!!! thanks for the reportage' Bill .......good for you...... seeing something first hand!

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After seeing the people out there protesting I have a hard time saying "red shirts" because there is the red shirt leadership or movement and the red shirt people. I think the red shirt people just want a fair deal. They're just normal folks. On the other hand the leadership and movement have political agendas which I can fully understand why people might object.

I feel the red shirt people have gotten a bad rap in the press.

Don't get me wrong though, I don't necessarily support the movement's goals of bringing Thaksin back or any of that. I just feel that the real people out there asking to be shown respect deserve it.

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