Part II – Crossing the lines



Part I - Background & A night on the bridge
Part II - Crossing the lines
Part III - A hot afternoon
Part IV - The shooting starts
Part V - Ian Neumegen, a foreigner killed in the disturbances
Part VI - Soldiers advance through Banglampoo
Part VII - Aftermath
Comments on the Black May 1992 story
Note: This is not meant to be a comprehensive history of the Black May events. Like any civil disturbances, there are many individual accounts of the events. This is mine. - Ron Morris, Webmaster, 2Bangkok.com

Part II - Crossing the lines
Morning, May 18, 1992
(Posted on 2Bangkok.com on May 21, 2004)


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

The next day I walked to work. This took me from the Dusit area through Banglampoo and over to Sao Ching Cha. Here I am on the bridge over Banglampoo Canal. The barbed wire was pulled back from the night before and traffic has returned to normal.


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Tanao Road closed with barbed wire. Foreigners could pass through though.


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)
Present day: Tanao Road in May 2003 (left). There has been a concerted effort in recent years to keep vintage shop houses freshly painted.


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Protesters occupying Ratchadamnoen Avenue and Tanao Road (Kok Wua intersection). The southeast corner (right side of the photo) is now the site of the monument dedicated to those who died in the October 13, 1973 protests.

Present day: The October 14 Memorial (right) to honor protesters killed in the October 14, 1973 uprisings against the government is now located on the corner of Ratchadamnoen Avenue and Tanao Road.
After the events of May 1992, newly emboldened activists pressed for an October 13 memorial on the prominent site where the the burned-out Revenue Department building was located (opposite the end of Sanam Luang).
Many powerful people absolutely objected to such a prominent location and the monument's implicit criticism of Thailand's army-dominated past.
The Kok Wua intersection plot was suggested instead. However, it was already occupied by low-income lottery vendors who were sure to vigorously protest their eviction.
Eventually the lottery site was vacated and the lottery sellers were moved to the Revenue Department building site.
In this photo (from October 13, 2003), workers get ready to install a crystal to ignite a flame for the memorial dedication. The crystal shattered, leaving local observers (who take great stock in omens) to conclude it was not a good sign for democracy.


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Another view of protesters at the Ratchadamnoen Avenue and Tanao Road intersection. Note the English-language banner. The age of CNN news influence had just started the year before when world attention focused on the first Gulf War. Protesters made signs in various languages to cater to the handful of foreign journalists covering the events.


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Planters blocking off Tanao Street.

Thousands of troops and protesters milling around--as a foreigner I was allowed to cross all lines and barriers and no one seemed to even notice me.

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

A German-language banner


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)
Phone booth graffiti: "Prime Minister must come election only. Suchinda you are dictator."

Before this time, graffiti in Bangkok was relatively rare (in any language). For a few years after the 1992 events, it seemed graffiti and vandalism were more common--possibly because of the social disaffection that resulted from the events.

After crossing Ratchadamnoen Avenue, I arrived to work.

After a few hours at work, rumors began circulating among students and staff that the military was moving in many more troops. The school began to spontaneously clear out.

I decided to leave at 1:00pm so I could pass back over Ratchadamneorn Avenue and return home while I could.


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Part III - A hot afternoon

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