If your protest doesn’t make front page headlines, is it still a protest?
What the Yellow Shirts had labeled just one week ago as a “major march” turned out to be 2,000 people gathering for a walk from their protest site to the Rama V statue to swear an oath of patriotism. Their walk violated the Internal Security Act, but police didn’t stop them. The police presence was significant- 13 companies of officers.
Coverage of the Yellow Shirts walk yesterday was not front page headlines in today’s paper. Thankfully the Bangkok Post devoted the front page to real news: Egypt, The Thailand/Cambodia fighting with the last article on the front page with a header of Politics and discussing Charter change bills that were voted on yesterday.
Yesterday’s protest and the media coverage of it felt very similar to protests in the USA: some people in the streets, a bit of noise, but nothing newsworthy.
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. I moved to Singapore in 2016...fallen behind on this blog since.
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