As published on 12th April 2010 by Nan Yang Siang Pau.
I was in Bangkok for a couple of days some time ago and because it was kind of a last minute trip, everyone thought I was nuts, with all those blood spilling commotion going on there thanks to the Red Shirts. My family especially, advised me against the trip, so as to avoid being kidnapped and “drained”.
But I was stubborn enough to ignore their pleas. So I still went there as planned.
And turns out they’re not harmful at all.
To really experience what was going on, I went to their camp near Khao San road, where I was amazed at how organized this whole campaign is. They were occupying the whole street, and 2 long stretches of tents are set up at both sides of the road. It was divided into sections.
Here’s the vehicle parking area, where all the vehicles used to transport demonstrators and goods are parked.
Here’s the Supply House, where vegetables, meat and other food supplies can be found. There were a few cooks at the back of the tents busy cooking meals; most likely for the demonstrators.
Banners demanding the Thai government to dissolve the parliament to pave way for fresh elections can be seen all over the place.
And it’s pretty obvious who’s behind all these activities. No surprise, because Thaksin is probably one of the very few guys in Thailand capable of funding such campaigns for such a long time…
There is a section where all of the demonstrators rest and sleep. Poor guys. Have to sleep on the road like this.
And towards the end of the road, there’s a roundabout and this is where the main stage is located. I was told that every night, talks like this one will be held by the various leaders of the Red Shirts.
You’ll be wondering, where do they do their hygiene business then? Well, apparently mobile toilets like this one are everywhere around the camp.
I felt like pissing at that time as well, and decided to go there and relieve myself.
Every thing is made of stainless steel. Very impressive. Doesn’t smell that bad too. Better than the Public Toilets in Malaysia.
There’s also some booths along the street selling merchandizes to raise funds and awareness. Products ranged from T-Shirts, badges, keychains, caps and stickers. I got excited and bought a couple of badges at 20 baht each as souvenirs
But were they aggressive and unfriendly towards strangers and tourists? No. In fact a few of them who spoke English were quite hospitable towards me when I asked them about their situation and what was really going on.
I don’t think things would be the same if this were to happen in Malaysia. For starters, the leaders of such an organization will be termed illegal and arrested under the ISA. How to have demonstration when you have a chicken with no head?
I was also “fortunate” enough to also witness their demonstration the same afternoon. Here are some photos taken during their parade at King Rama IV roundabout :
Imagine having waited for almost 2 hours for all the Red Shirt vehicles to completely pass through for traffic in that precinct to restore to normal.
Now I know, what 50,000 people on the streets is like.
What a hell of an experience. I just love it.
So, Yellow Shirts, when’s your turn to take it to the streets?