Red Protests – May 19, 2010

Also: Red Protests 2010 main page

Thailand's real road to freedom starts here - Globe and Mail, May 19, 2010
...Second, what the world has seen in the weeks of confrontation is nothing less than an attempted coup d’état by Thaksin Shinawatra, prime minister from 2001 to 2006, who was convicted of corruption and had about $1.5-billion of his assets seized by the government. Mr. Thaksin, now in exile, aimed to provoke a bloody massacre of so-called Red Shirt demonstrators by the army that would have led to civil conflict – the only way for him to return to power and end the monarchy that holds Thailand together. The coup failed when the army showed extraordinary restraint until it was no longer possible to allow the ruination of Bangkok’s business and shopping district. Even then, casualties were comparatively low...

The Reds have suffered a devastating defeat. Why? - The Nation, May 19, 2010
...At the peak, the Reds commanded an audience of about 100,000 in late March when they were holding their rally at Phanfah Leela Bridge. With an aid of a Black Army, they won the battle against the government troops on April 10. Wherever they went, they could sway the public opinion and get away with it. The Military and the Police caved in to their demand. If they were to hold Abhisit in check at the Government House, they would have easily toppled him from power. At that point, they had the state mechanisms on their side. The Reds were the law. The Police had to bow to their request. The People's Revolution would have overwhelmed Abhisit and changed the course of Thai history for good...

Bangkok's savage conflict may be a mere dress rehearsal - KI, May 19, 2010

Ji Ungpakorn on anger -, May 19, 2010
...There are reports that Government buildings, banks, the stock-exchange, luxury shopping malls and pro-military media are all being set on fire.
All this is totally justified.. why?...

Former UVic student seriously wounded by grenade in Thailand - Vancouver Province, May 19, 2010
A young filmmaker is badly wounded after grenades exploded close to the main protest camp in Thailand's capital of Bangkok...

Thaksin's arrest warrant delayed - The Nation, May 19, 2010

Court approves arrest warrant against Thaksin, 9 others on terrorism charge - The Nation, May 19, 2010

(Photo: I Prahin)

Central World engulfed - May 19, 2010
Last sight of Central World before darkness...
The Red Shirts have made good on threats of fire and Molotov cocktails in Bangkok. Such rhetoric had been part of the movement from the beginning.
The question is if any further coordinated attacks will come in the following days or if all parties who can pull strings will look toward new political goals.
With one part of the equation in place--Red Shirt leaders sidelined, there will be mighty efforts to right the political system by getting Red Shirt factions behind Pheu Thai Party leadership and tightening the noose on Thaksin by linking him to the rioting.
The government appears to be lucky so far--a quick end to the rally and a mighty demonstration of the ill-intentions of the protesters through their rioting.
The next few days will be key in determining if there will be a quick end to the arson attacks and how extensive any unrest will be in the provinces.
Arson and rioting is not that unusual for Thais in these situations. Similar arson attacks and rioting happened at the end of upheavals in the 1970s and at the end of the Black May events in 1992. There was also an ongoing spate of arson attacks in the provinces for many months after the 2006 coup.


(Source: MCOT screen grab)

Patriotic music videos - May 19, 2010
Patriotic music videos are being shown on all Thai TV channels (frame grabs above and below). These patriotic songs are generally not marshall in nature, but are more sentimental with an emphasis on loving King and country.
These videos also included images of the Red Shirt leaders meeting with the Prime Minister (from last month) during lyrics that say something like "we all have to remember to love each other. The King loves everyone the same..."

After the music videos was a show in Thai and English with officials explaining what happened and why and what the government is doing.

For instance: Question: Why do they burn buildings?
Answer: They are trying to destroy the financial credit of Thailand and cause as much chaos as possible.
...Hardline, radical Red Shirts are now have weapons and are attacking and robbing people on the streets so please stay home tonight.
... Please stay home tonight because the authorities are going to secure the areas.
...This is very unusual, very uncharacteristic of Thais.
...The situation will return to normalcy very soon...

(Source: MCOT screen grab)

(Source: MCOT screen grab)

(Source: MCOT screen grab)

(Source: MCOT screen grab)


(Photo: I Prahin)

Attacking banks - May 19, 2010
I Prahin reports: The Bangkok Bank at Chan Road near the intersection with Narathiwas Road was attacked by about 20 thugs on motorcycles. They blockaded the road, threw Molotov cocktails and rocks into the building causing a fire. They also flipped over a police pickup which was parked in front of the bank (it was left there for the last 2 mths). No police or fire brigade for at least 15-20mins. There is a gas station across the road. Scary...

(Photo: I Prahin)

(Photo: I Prahin)


(Photo: I Prahin)

Above: Fire in Klong Toey - probably at the Stock Exchange of Thailand building

Central World destroyed in fire - TAN, May 19, 2010

Details of fires in Bangkok as Red-shirt renegades lash out - TAN, May 19, 2010

Mobs burn Bangkok - Bangkok Post, May 19, 2010

Red shirts attack TV station, stock exchange - The Nation, May 19, 2010

Thai TV: Curfew for the next two nights in Bangkok - 8 pm to 6 am

(Photo: Frame grab from robertamsterdam)

Thaksin's lobbyist's opinion - May 19, 2010
Robert Amsterdam's tweet page

Earlier: What to expect from Thaksin's lobbyist Robert Amsterdam

Protesters loot Siam Square, set fire to Siam Theatre - The Nation, May 19, 2010

Stock Exchange of Thailand torched - TAN, May 19, 2010
Protesters have torched the Maruay Library at the Stock Exchange of Thailand. The SET is located in the Klong Toey area, right next to the Queen Sirikit National Convention center. The fire is not yet under control as of 3:36 P.M.

Scary sequence of tweets by freaking cat - May 19, 2010

...Curfew at bangkok. Still huge explosions here. Announcrment of government now via loudspeakers on street - 21 minutes ago via Twitterrific

...30 meter flames! Fire getting worst. Huge explosions!!! - 43 minutes ago via Twitterrific

...Rama 4 is all destroyed! I am crying! about - 1 hour ago via Twitterrific

...Transformator blew up!!! Insane fire at whole electricity building at kt stage about - 1 hour ago via Twitterrific

...All windows destroyed of mrt khlong toei. Smoke took pics but cannot send. Apocalypic!!!! Hell about - 1 hour ago via Twitterrific

...Firetrucks arrive but fire out of control!!! My god!!! Mrt getting burned too about - 1 hour ago via Twitterrific

...Firetruck just beside at soi baan plai nuan cannot get out! Reds destroy everything!!! about - 1 hour ago via Twitterrific

...My god!!! Huge fire at electricity work khlong toei just beside our house! Huge thick smoke!...


End of the rally - 14:22, May 19, 2010
Above: Multiple Red Shirt fires started as the government spokesman announces an end to the rally.

Ubon red shirt protests turn violent -, May 19, 2010

Protesters burn tyres on Lard Prao Road - The Nation, May 19, 2010

Protesters set fire to Central World - The Nation, May 19, 2010

SEER Rangsit set on fire by Red-shirt protesters - TAN, May 19, 2010

Right here, right now: Red Shirt radio is calling for buildings to be burned nationwide--especially banks. They further say there is no longer any leaders at present and people have to act on their own.

Din Daeng Red-shirts to act on their own - TAN, May 19, 2010
Red-shirt protesters in Din Daeng area, who were not happy with the key leaders' decision to call off the red-shirt rally, have declared themselves independent from the main red-shirt movement. They say they'll now act on their own and have threatened to hunt down members of the press.

(Source: 2Bangkok cam)

Black smoke rising again - 14:00, May 19, 2010
We note that black smoke is billowing up again from Din Daeng and Rama IV areas at this moment. We have an excellent vantage of both sites and it is amazing how precisely these incidents of burning seem to be coordinated

Update: Red Protesters Set Fire to Central World, Regroup at Victory Monument - TAN, May 19, 2010
Red-shirt protesters who did not agree with the decision by the red-shirt protesters to call off the protest have stirred up chaos around the Ratchaprasong area. They've rallied others who also disagree with the call for an end of the rally to regather at the Victory Monument. They've set fire to parts of Central World, blown up gas cylinders in front of the National Police Office and electrical units in Din Daeng area.

(Source: MCOT screen grab)

Above: The media mob the Red Shirt leaders as the enter police headquarters to surrender.

Rajprasong rally ends - The Nation, May 19, 2010
..."I can no longer tolerate the cruelty inflicted on us, the red shirts," he said...

Reds raid Udon, Khon Kaen city halls - Bangkok Post, May 19, 2010
...They brought with them car tyres and fuel and threatened to set fire on the city hall if the government did not respond to their demand for it to dissolve the House of Representatives...

UDD urges protesters to create unrest - Bangkok Post, May 19, 2010
..."If there is no ceasefire, our supporters in other provinces will begin their movements. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva can run the country that is in ruins if he wants"

Khon Kaen: Reds raid city hall - TAN, May 19, 2010

Government announces some Red leaders have fled the rally site - 11:40, May 19, 2010
Panitan: Anyone who sees fleeing red leaders please call 02 5511515
Rally participants left at the site are to walk to National Stadium where they will be placed on busses and sent back home.
Update: Other media reports indicate that Nuttawut is still on the main rally stage.
Update 2: Other media reports indicate Arisman is confirmed to have fled. Other leaders have not been seen.

Death before amnesty in Thailand - AsiaTimes, May 19, 2010
...In the run-up to the first armed exchanges between troops and protesters on April 10, Thaksin told UDD protesters in a phone-in address to prepare for "sacrifices", a speech many foreign diplomats have flagged as significant. Underscoring his influence over the protest group, Thaksin has been directly involved in talks with the government, including a secret meeting in late April in Brunei, according to one diplomat familiar with the meeting...

Thaksin: Thai crackdown may spark "guerrilla war" - Reuters, May 19, 2010
Exiled former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said on Wednesday he fears a crackdown on anti-government protesters could lead to guerrilla warfare across the country...

Red-shirts place gas tanks in front of Platinum Fashion Mall - TAN, May 19, 2010
Update: A Nation tweet reports: Witness says there is no gas tanks or oil in front of Pratunam Pathinum Department Store as earlier reported.
Update 2: Photo of a gas canister in front of Platinum

Clashes expand to Sam Yan area - Bangkok Post, May 19, 2010

20 armed men in black captured by soldiers, Arisman believed fleeing - The Nation, May 19, 2010

(Source: TPBS screen grab)

Imagine - May 19, 2010
TPBS is showing a montage of riot images set to John Lennon's Imagine. There were similar videos show on Thai TV after the 1992 Black May incident.

(Source: TPBS screen grab)

(Source: TPBS screen grab)

Tweeted photo: Huge tire fire

(Source: TPBS screen grab)

Armored vehicles breaking through the bamboo barricade at Saladaneg - May 19, 2010

Banharn calls for decisive, swift action to contain terrorism - The Nation, May 19, 2010

Protesters seize Thai Com satellite uplink station in Nonthaburi - The Nation, May 19, 2010

(Source: TPBS screen grab)

Tire fire - May 19, 2010
Smoke from a tire fire engulfing a Chula Hospital building.

Thaksin looms large in Thailand crisis - Financial Times, May 19, 2010
In Thailand's turbulent and complex political scene, there is a simple test to find out which side someone is on: Thaksin Shinawatra - hero or villain?...

Calgarian Nelson Rand thought he'd died in Thailand - Calgary Herald, May, 2010
..."I have some memory of flatlining, but then everything started coming back into focus and I was alive," Rand said Monday from the intensive-care unit of a Bangkok hospital, days after being shot by a sniper while covering anti-government protests in that city...

Korbsak: Reds must end rally now- The Nation, May 19, 2010
...“The red-shirts must immediately stop setting fire in the capital. Their leaders wanted under arrest warrants must enter the judicial process, and after that the government will move ahead with the national reconciliation road map proposed by the prime minister”, Mr Korbsak said on Wednesday morning...

(Photo: Don Entz)

Smoke over the city - 08:00, May 19, 2010

Gunfight erupts at Saladaeng- The Nation, May 19, 2010

Troops attack with tear gas- Bangkok Post, May 19, 2010

Troops push protesters back from Saladaeng Intersection- The Nation, May 19, 2010

Masked men trying to set fire to Kong Toey MRT Station - TAN, May 19, 2010

(Source: Channel 3 screen grab)

Massive tire fire - 07:50, May 19, 2010

TPBS says the smoke is from a tire fire and that the smoke is blowing back towards the Chula Hospital area.

Protesters set fire to tyres to prevent visibility of sniper - TAN, May 19, 2010

(Source: Channel 3 screen grab)

(Source: Channel 3 screen grab)

Smoke rising - 07:00, May 19, 2010

The skyline of Bangkok is once again an incredible vista of rising smoke as Red Shirts stoke fires in anticipation of a crackdown.


Wednesday morning in Bangkok - 07:00, May 19, 2010

Water cannons - 06:58, May 19, 2010
Channel 9 reporting water cannons are being moved into place on Silom.

Burning again - 06:53, May 19, 2010
Thai TV reporting fires erupting again at Rama IV Road, Din Daeng and further up the expressway near Klong Toey.

Thaksin's vendetta is wrecking the country - The Nation, May 19, 2010

Legacy of broken promises -, May 19, 2010

Gwynne Dyer: Thailand heading towards Burmese-style tyranny, isolation, and poverty -, May 19, 2010

(Source: TPBS screen grab)

Right here, right now: Heavy military presence moves closer to the rally site
- 06:13, May 19, 2010
Thai TV is reporting that solders and heavy armored vehicles have moved down Silom and are waiting at Silom Soi 4.

Media the new battlefield for reds and yellows - The Nation, May 19, 2010
...The Samut Prakan-based FM101.25 radio station received calls yesterday morning from irate red shirts calling on the protesters to burn down the buildings where snipers were waiting to shoot down leaders and other civilians.
"If we have to burn them down, so be it," one caller said.
...Meanwhile, the view of two female hosts at the pro-government FM97.75 could not have been more different. Both urged their fellow citizens to not be too upset the 30-odd fatalities over the past three days.
"Thirty deaths aren't that many and polls show that people are still supportive of Abhisit," one host told listeners...


End the rally - May 19, 2010
The sticker reads: End the rally - want to have life as usual [want to live in the state of usual peace]

Also: Red Protests 2010 main page

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