Close

Donate today to keep Global Voices strong!

Watch the video: We Are Global Voices!

We report on 167 countries. We translate in 35 languages. We are Global Voices. Watch the video »

Over 800 of us from all over the world work together to bring you stories that are hard to find by yourself. But we can’t do it alone. Even though most of us are volunteers, we still need your help to support our editors, our technology, outreach and advocacy projects, and our community events.

Donate now »
GlobalVoices in Learn more »

Thailand: Red Shirt protesters remain defiant

38 people dead. 279 wounded.

The Red Shirts want a truce with soldiers but the government insists the protesters must first disperse before negotiations can proceed. Soldiers are already using live ammunition against protesters which the government justifies as a necessary step to restore order in the capital.

The Red Shirts have been protesting in the streets for the two months already. They are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva whom they accuse of being illegitimate and undemocratic. They also want the Prime Minister to dissolve the parliament and call for new elections. There were negotiations to settle the protest peacefully but they bogged down last week.

Violence erupted when the government ordered a blockade of the protest camps and later a crackdown against the protesters. The government blamed “terrorist-protesters” for the rising tension and violence in Bangkok.

A google map of the protest zones and “war zones” in Bangkok


View Bangkok Dangerous – Red Shirts Rally March-May 2010 in a larger map

Liveblog reports about the situation in Bangkok are available through Therelive, Vaitor, and Legal Nomads. Pictures of the standoff in the capital are uploaded on thaireport, The Nation’s State, and Life.

Red Shirts. Photo by potapotypoter.

What happened in Bangkok in the past 24 hours? Here is a timeline of events provided by The Thai Report

00:45 – Explosions and automatic weapons near Saladaeng…
01:40 – Tear gas and M16 fire…
02:00 – Red shirts receiving much needed supplies…
03:25 – 6 new red shirt stages setup…
03:30 – Vehicles turn off headlights to avoid sniper fire…
03:30 – Soldier shot in head at Saladaeng…
09:30 – ‘Official’ death toll rises to 35…
09:30 – Homemade bombs hit Chiang Mai banks in the North…
09:50 – Red leader tells looters to go home…
09:50 – Red leader: ‘Don’t loot, use tires to block snipers’…
10:40 – 106 bank accounts frozen to cut off protest funding..
10:50 – Death toll almost certainly higher…
11:35 – Government: Get out by 3pm today…
13:10 – Thousand of rounds fired last night…
14:25 – Thunderstorms and troops approaching…
14:50 – Red cross blood donations at capacity…
14:55 – Durian shells used to pop tires…
15:10 – Hope of ceasefire dwindling…
15:10 – Protesters refuse to leave Rajprasong…
16:00 – Heavy gunfire on Soi Rangnam…
16:10 – Rama IV erupts in explosions and gunfire…
17:35 – Gas stations closed…
17:50 – Gas truck hijacked…
17:55 – Fire burning next to gas tanker…
17:55 – Grenade hits gas station…
18:15 – 6,000 litres of petrol…
18:20 – Protesters given more time by government…
18:35 – About 5,000 people left in red shirt camp…
18:40 – Huge fires reported at Khlong Toei…
18:40 – Stranded residents can call for help at 02-338-3677, 02-338-3333 ext 7254…
19:15 – Phuket tourism hits new low…
19:15 – Thaksin: “The pictures that I have seen go beyond any nightmares”…
19:30 – Hospitals and ambulances on standby…
19:50 – Troops inch closer…
21:00 – CRES shows videos on national TV of soldiers beaten, looting…
21:05 – Khon Kaen red shirts protest at provincial hall…
21:50 – Satellite stages outside Rajaprasong growing…
22:00 – Yet another new rally site in Latprao…
22:00 – More forces sent to Bangkok…
22:35 – Gunmen dressed as soldiers shot civilians from Cheewathai building…
22:45 – Bangs and shots from Din Daeng…
23:10 – Loads and loads of shots near Ratchaprob…
00:35 – Loudest explosion of the night from Rama IV…
00:45 – 7 satellite protest stages spread throughout Bangkok…
01:00 – Confrontations at Ramkhamhaeng protest…
01:25 – Gunshots reported at Ramkhamhaeng…

Burning tires. Photo by JeabJeab_Mango.

Thailand Crisis writes about the street battles in Bangkok:

It’s amazing. There are fightings in several locations in Bangkok… But those are not skirmishes…

Shootings… light…. heavy… different calibers… single shots…. bursts… grenades… the guy is a military… And it’s going on for 4 hours !

Abhisit and the military apparatus are winning the battle (the massacre)… But they’re surely losing the… future.

An anonymous writer warns about the tactic of the government to label protesters as terrorists

The deaths of score protesters that night somehow were presented as proof of “terrorists” and justified their killings. In the last few days, the indiscriminate killing is justified because there are supposedly “500 terrorists” hiding within the main body of protesters. As a protest leader has said, such a statement is tantamount to the advance issuing of 500 death certificates of protesters, “terrorists” or not.

Photo by freakingcat

The twitter accounts of war correspondent Michael Yon and Thaksin lawyer Robert Amsterdam provide realtime updates of the situation in Bangkok. Here are other twitter reactions

MAVinBKK: I am having trouble with some so called journalists on here – some are very biased and believed with caution.
PeoplePolitic: RT @photo_journ: “I'm not a #redshirt. My government should not kill people”
disambiguated: #redshirt – most shops, restaurants closed in lower Suk. Never seen it like this, even in the wee hours. Few street vendors, even.
rrystrom: The #redshirt morons are even shooting at the Gas Truck….

Red Shirt rally. Photo by newley

Suthichai, Editor-in-Chief of Bangkok broadsheet The Nation, issued an open letter criticizing the “biased” coverage of the CNN. But is CNN really biased?

…quotes and statements seem to have been solely taken from the anti-government protest leaders or their followers/sympathizers. Yet, all details about the government’s position have come from secondary resources. No direct interviews with government officials have been shown; no interviews or witness statements from ordinary Bangkok residents or civilians unaffiliated with the protesters, particularly those who have been harassed by or suffered at the hands of the protesters, have been circulated.

A video was uploaded which shows how Red Shirts used a baby as a human shield against the advancing soldiers. Here is a citizen video of the Red Shirt rally.

World regions

Countries

Languages