Appon's Thai Life

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We are Greyshirts

Democracy is in the balance, they're trying to prevent an election. So protestors are massing at a safe location to object. This lot are reds, but the color of politics doesn't matter. The principle here is, do the people choose the leader, or does the coup leaders install one of their cronies.

Lots of yellows don't like Suthep, they thought once he ejects Yingluk they could elect a decent leader, but he's blocked elections and wants to appoint his own people. With support from coup appointees in government, he's trying to take power.

I'm joining the protest on April 5th for a rally outside Bangkok, on a long and very wide road.

Roads have only two ends, and all the people have to enter from these two checkpoints making it a slow process to fill up the site. The army has also provided security to enhance the guards at either end of the road. I'm nervous of them, but head through their bag check anyway.

Reds are meeting at pickup sites around Bangkok, Mega Bangna Mall at 11am is the nearest, but I decide to head out on my own. I head out on toll road 9, thinking I'm sure to miss the traffic by taking the outer road, but quickly get stuck for 3 hours in stationary traffic. Ahead of me, reds in a pickup look equally frustrated.

Once there, I park in the east side of the road. Where is everyone? Nobody is here the place is empty? But no, they're in the west side of this road, I head off west following others to where the crowds are. The east side is a party for the Songkran festival, and nothing to do with the protests.

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The coup propaganda machine says these people are hired Burmese workers, so I interview everyone I can find who looks Burmese and ask them where they're from. Thailand!, Thailand!, Thailand! Some are from the north during the day, they came by bus and truck and will be spending the whole weekend here, several from the south, like myself, but most are locals or from Bangkok. As the locals come in and swell the numbers for the evening speeches, so the place becomes packed.

Photos of Thai people holding out their ID cards to prove they are Thai, are spun by the propaganda machine as Thai's waiting to be paid for attending. What liars they are, they're proving they are Thai because the propaganda machine claimed they were hired Burmese!

Water bottles are piled up high, to ensure people won't go thirsty, and toilet buses parked along the edge of the road expand the makeshift toilet huts and shower tents. Toilet buses from Bangkok Metropolitan Authority, and the Thai Air-force speaks volumes.

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At the entrance, a mat with photos of the coup group and their cohorts, is there for people to stomp on, to vent their frustration. I seek out the picture of Somchai Srisuthiyakorn, the Electoral Commission. A popular choice, the picture has many footprints on it, given his pivotal role in the failed elections, (and his ongoing role in the current stalled election). Better to vent their frustration on a picture and get it out their system that way.

Abhisit, the leader of the opposition party, (that's really just the political front for the coup), is another popular choice. They create a crisis, they demand a solution, another one of their group pretends to be a neutral mediator and gets appointed, and by that mechanism, they seize power by solving the crisis they just created!

By the evening, the place is packed, newspaper and television drones fly in the sky to capture the scene. Speakers explain who backs us, and it's clear we won't face a military coup this time. I head back to Bangkok, back through the army checkpoint, much more confident in the role of the army.

The photos of the red crowds in the newspapers websites look spectacular, enough to make the coup group think twice about this grab for power.

In the evening I drive back to Bangkok, past Lumpini Park where the PDRC guards are camped. People get shot here, people get beaten, and thrown in the river to drown, so I change out of my red shirt and hide my red hat. This place is not safe.. Lucky for us, one of their victims survived, so we know it was them. They dressed him in a whistle to make it look like he was one of their own protestors! We're dealing with some very evil people here.

Tomorrow I will be back at the protests and want to explore the fantastic park next door, have a picnic, enjoy the protest while we're still a free democracy. Something the Democrats and their corrupt friends are working hard to eliminate.

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