...During one of his remarkable showdowns with Abhisit, Weng said the red negotiators "didn't come here, just the three of us. We are accompanied by 20 million people".
To which Abhisit replied: "I don't want to talk about numbers over here. But if they are so important, should we carry out a referendum on whether I should dissolve the House?"
Thai-language news items on "Weng" as the new Thai slang here and here. The Weng online game here and here.
March 23, 2010: Govt expected to extend ISA for 7 days - Red shirts plan 'biggest' mass rally for Saturday - Bangkok Post
..."Our important mission is the mass rally on Saturday. It's a major gathering of several million protesters in Bangkok. It'll be the largest rally in history..."
March 19, 2010: Metropolitan Police estimates number of red shirts at 25,000 - The Nation
March 19, 2010: Metropolitan Police estimate 65,000 protesters in red procession - TAN
March 19, 2010: Still hoping for 1 million?
From Peace efforts hit snag: ..."[On Saturday] we will go around paying courtesy calls to Bangkokians. After that, 1 million protesters will come back to gather at this venue again to show our force, if not to celebrate victory," he said...
Above: Khao Sod front page on March 14, 2010 showing an overhead view of the sparse Red Shirt crowd.
(Source: Khao Sod, March 14, 2010)
So few? - March 15, 2010
The Ministry of the Interior claims 46,377 joined the protest.
CNN has been quoting 80,000.
Other foreign media have been estimating 100,000 and this may be correct for the highest point of the protest crowd sometime on Saturday.
(Source: Bangkok Post graphic)
Nearly everyone was expecting the Red Shirts to at least partially make good on their boast to surround and menace Bangkok.
For example, the Bangkok Post made handy Flash graphic (above) to show how many hundreds of thousands of Red Shirts would be occupying various meeting points throughout Bangkok on March 12. However, the total estimate for the day at all venues was only 4,600.
Don't miss: Phan Fa Bridge--then and now
The same view as the large photo above showing the same view throughout history.
Also: At the other end of the street: Phan Phiphop Lila Bridge & intersection over the years
March 14, 2010: Ministry: 46,000 people attend UDD rally - Bangkok Post
March 13, 2010: Red Shirts confident one-million protester goal 'not a dream' - TNA
March 11, 2010: Red shirts vow to bring a million to Bangkok - The Nation
...The red shirts did not attempt to blow up gas tankers and use violence against Bangkok residents during the April mayhem last year, he said.
"The government is using this as propaganda to turn Bangkok residents against the red-shirt rally," he said...
"By noon of March 14, one million red-shirted people will be in Bangkok," he added...
March 3, 2010: Redshirts ready for 'million-man' March - The Irrawaddy
...“We will use only peaceful means,” he said, acknowledging that Redshirt violence at the disbanded Asian summit in Pattaya and in Bangkok during the Songkran 2009 protests damaged the anti-government cause.
How a peaceful protest will force the government to choose between suppression of the protest on the one hand, and dissolution of the parliament on the other, was not clarified.
However, senior UDD member Jaran Ditthapichai told media at a Bangkok press conference on Thursday that if the protest is met with violence, then a civil war in Thailand could be possible.
...The Redshirts have pledged a peaceful march, with estimates between 500,000 and 1.3 million given as a possible turnout...
February 24, 2010: UDD major rally in Bangkok March 14 - Bangkok Post
...Natthawut Saikua, one of the UDD leaders, said he expected about one million red-shirts to take part in the demonstration and demand a snap general election.
During the rally, some red-shirts would move out of Sanam Luang for expanded activities at different locations, which he would not disclose.
Mr Natthawut said he could not say how long the rally would last. This would depend on how the government responded to the UDD's demand...
February 23, 2010: Red Shirts vow to topple government in 7 days in March mass rally - MCOT
A key leader of Thailand's anti-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) on Tuesday announced that the group will rally in March with at least one million Red Shirt supporters joining the protest to oust the Abhisit Vejjajiva government within seven days...
February 23, 2010: UDD to hold 'decisive' mass rally next month - Bangkok Post
...“We expected about one million people to turn out during the seven-day rally. At least 100,000 personal cars and pickup trucks attached with red-shirt flags would flow to Bangkok from Nakhon Ratchasima in the Northeast, from Nakhon Sawan in the North and from Petchkasem road in the South”, He said.
...“The red-shirts will also surround military camps in Chon Buri, Prachin Buri, Lop Buri and Kanchana Buri”, he stated...
February 22, 2010: Red shirts in Bangkok Mar 1 - Bangkok Post
The red-shirted supporters of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship will converge in Bangkok on Monday, March 1, for a major rally, Kwanchai Praipana announced on his community radio programme in Udon Thani on Monday...
February 19, 2010: Jatuporn: Major rally after Feb 26 - Bangkok Post
...He said UDD leaders would hold a meeting to decide the date before Feb 26, when the verdict on the 76 billion baht assets case will be delivered...
February 12, 2010: Red-shirt leaders ready for million-man march - The Nation
...At a meeting yesterday, leaders of the Democratic Alliance against Dictatorship (DAAD) appeared to have differences over several key issues, including the date for the rally - on whether it should be held before the verdict is read out on former PM Thaksin Shinawatra's assets-seizure case on February 26. The date both sides finally decided upon was February 20...
February 9, 2010: Jatuporn: 1 million-red shirts to rally - Bangkok Post
More than one million red-shirts will certainly take part in a mass rally aimed at bringing down the government, United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) leader Jatuporn Promphan claimed on Tuesday...
January 9, 2010: Anti-riot forces on hand for protest - The Nation
...Organisers said they would meet on January 16 to finalise their plan of mobilising 1 million red shirts...
November 17, 2009: Red rally to be held on Nov 29 - The Nation
The red shirts plan their "showdown rally" against the government from November 29, which they expect one million people to join and the administration to be overthrown before the New Year's Day...
Also: August 24, 2006: TRT plan to gather 1 million supporters 'needs explaining' - The Nation