2011 Protests in Bangkok- Red Shirts and Yellow Shirts

There have not been disruptive protests in Bangkok in the recent months. Well, traffic might have been disrupted by the protest itself, but the protests have not been violent or prolonged.

The Red Shirts have been protesting to remember those who died during the 2010 protests and keep their issues in front of the government and public. The Red Shirts protests happen on Sunday afternoons and end at Ratchaprasong- where they had the stage setup during the last protest and directly in the middle of the primary shopping area and business district of Bangkok.

The Red Shirts alert the police about the protest times, all has been peaceful. Things appear to be escalating gradually- the crowds at the protest had been around 8,000-10,000, last Sunday- 9 January- the number was up to 30,000 and the rhetoric a bit more heated.

The retailers and merchants around Ratchaprasong have asked the Red Shirts to stop holding the protests at Ratchaprasong as it damages their business- and they need the business based on the losses during the Red Shirts protests of 2010. The Red Shirts considered the request, but it was rejected.

The Ratchaprasong merchants public appeal to the Red Shirts is an import signal that Bangkok is not sympathetic to the protests- Red or Yellow. At the beginning of the 2010 protests, Bangkok appeared very sympathetic.

The next Red Shirt protest is scheduled for Sunday, 23 January, ending at Ratchaprasong.

The Yellow Shirts will take to the streets on 25 January for their own protest. The Yellow Shirts back the current government, but are not happy about how the government is handling he border dispute with Cambodia. The Yellow Shirts are the group that blocked the airports and lead to downfall of the former Prime Minister. It will be very interesting to see how many people come to the rally and protest on the 25th.

The Government is urging restraint; hopefully all will listen and keep the protests peaceful. I do not feel the protests represent a danger to individuals in Bangkok or will hamper sightseeing or a visit.

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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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