PTV Weekend protests

2,000: Some 2,000 protesters rally at Democracy Monument - The Nation
Some 2,000 anti-junta protesters rally at the Democracy Monument Sunday night, blocking part of the Rajdamnoen Avenue...

3,000: Thousands protest against Thai junta - AFP
Up to 3,000 people took to the streets of Bangkok on Sunday to protest against Thailand's military junta and call for early elections in the kingdom, organisers and the police said...

The AFP article is particularly inaccurate in explaining what is going on...

AFP: ...Demonstrations against the government are also becoming more frequent, with a similar protest at the end of April attracting at least 4,000 people...

Not true. The protest on April 27 was a fizzling out of the PTV momentum with notably less people than in the past. The protests were also not more frequent--it was three weeks until the next one was staged under a new name.

When the PTV rallies started the message was about media freedom and opposition to the coup, but by the April 27 rally they were purely praising Thaksin and saying "what was so bad about him?" While the public was never that excited about the government keeping a new TV network off the air, they seemed equally ambivalent when the focus turned to pro-Thaksin talk.

AFP: ...The protest movement is also beginning to create an odd coalition of allies, with some pro-democracy groups, which last year demonstrated against Thaksin, now joining forces with his allies in protesting against the government...

Not true for this rally. The weekend rally, under the new banner of "People's United Front," was notable for splitting the groups as some did not want to be associated with a pro-Thaksin message. Whoever wrote the AFP article seems to have cobbled something together from the situation several months ago.

From The Nation: ...The newly-formed People's United Front is composed of 22 organisations and marks a new level of struggle. It includes the pro-Thaksin Shinawatra People's Television (PTV) group, and a majority of the protesters appeared to be supporters of former prime minister Thaksin.
This has led to deep soul-searching amongst those who opposed Thaksin but who are also against the coup.
 "I decided to decline the offer to be moderator of the event," said Chanakarn Phandermwong, co-coordinator of the 19 September Network Against the Coup, which is not part of the United Front...

More: PTV and PTV rallies
Also: High tension in Thailand

This entry was posted in High Tension in Thailand 2004-2008. Bookmark the permalink.