2013 Street Protests in Bangkok

Street protests are back. Different year, different color shirts in the street, different issues that still largely revolve around one person that no longer lives in Thailand.

The characters and largely the same, as is the supporting cast, the roles are reversed, the protestors of 2010 are now in power. There are secret deals that aren’t secret, agendas, sub-plots, comments, innuendo and loads of ego. And hopefully people on the streets that truly believe in the change they are protesting for.

My view remains unchanged from when I witnessed the 2010 protests- it is wonderful to see groups of people willing and able to protest and something I wished would happen more in my country. My feelings changed in the aftermath of 2010, I don’t believe the political protests are a vehicle of change for the ‘people’, but rather a tool to further an agenda, an agenda that is not develop by the ‘people’ or that will be implemented for the ‘people’.

Social media has grown tremendously since 2010, both in depth and breadth of use and will have a major impact on this and future protests. Social media will help shape future agendas.

The protests should not impact anyone visiting Bangkok or Thailand. Traffic is a constant mess in Bangkok, the protests will make add to the mess, take BTS, MRT, boats and walk. At this point the central protest site is at the Democracy Monument, not the central business district like 2010.

Any reports and news saying these protests are like 2010 are overstating (this is written on 5 November) the situation. There have been large numbers of people at the protests, but businesses are operating as normal.

A picture of the protest yesterday in Silom, picture from twitter user @noteBUJR

Protest on 4 November in Silom, picture from twitter user @noteBUJR

Protest on 4 November in Silom, picture from twitter user @noteBUJR

 

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About faranginbangkok

Additional pictures: http://www.tumblr.com/blog/faranginbangkok For more updates about Bangkok, Thailand and other thoughts: www.twitter.com/lilrichardb I began working in Bangkok during 2008- a time that featured a great deal of political unrest in Thailand and particularly Bangkok. I had lived in San Francisco for 15 years and was working on a project in Thailand. Generally I spent 2 weeks in Bangkok and then 3-4 weeks in San Francisco. Did Bangkok begin to feel like home? Yes, and No. Bangkok and the Thai culture forced me to feel many things, the change in culture and environment was so dramatic it forced the decision- embrace or ignore. I embraced and made Bangkok my home and base in 2009. I have enjoyed living in Bangkok, experiencing Thailand and the entire ASEAN region.
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