Bangkok Post covers the Black May anniversary

Royal Hotel remembered as safe haven - Bangkok Post, May 16, 2004
...In particular, Mr Issara said he would never forget the morning of May 19, when security forces combed the hotel in search of protesters.
After the security forces had left, more than 40 suspects emerged from their hiding places at the hotel, looking dazed and confused. ``I don't know who they were, or which side they belonged to,'' he said. ``All I thought was, they would have been arrested if we allowed them to walk out of the hotel in their condition.''
So, Mr Issara provided them with hotel uniforms for waiters, bell boys, drivers and cleaners, and staff badges to use in the event they were stopped by police.
Shortly after, the hotel was showered with bouquets of flowers and thank-you notes from grateful parents...
The hotel is inarguably steeped in recent history. During the 1973 uprising, a young Praphat Panyachartrak stood under a tamarind tree outside the hotel, wielding a club while surrounded by soldiers. He later became a cabinet minister under Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, until a recent reshuffle.

Site remains top rallying point - Recent history raises stature of 3-star hotel - Bangkok Post, May 16, 2004
...Mr Suwit said many activists hold the hotel in special regard.
"It is a kind of ever-lasting bond after surviving these crises,'' he said adding several of his foreign colleagues had chosen to stay at the hotel when visiting Bangkok because of its history.
Women's Rights Protection Centre chairwoman Supensri Pungkoaksoong said she was impressed with the hotel staff's attitude, particularly toward the poor.
"Many of those who attend our workshops are underprivileged, but they use this hotel without fear of being looked down upon,'' she said.

Relatives say govt reluctant to help - Bangkok Post, May 16, 2004
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