Blood downtown

From Manager, March 24, 2021
Police: I am so sorry my staff used more violence on you… I will scold them!

[This references the anti-government protests led by REDEM. This is a hardcore group that arose in the absence of the main student protest leaders who were controversially jailed without bail for alleged lese majeste offenses.

REDEM has been much more confrontational, fighting and throwing objects at police. They also are also well-organized–at a recent protest they carried rigging that was used to pull down shipping containers being used to block protesters from approaching the Grand Palace.

Some media roundly condemned the police for the violence at the protests while other media blamed REDEM.

The larger story is that this sort of violence from dwindling numbers of protesters is exactly what the government wants to demonize the movement and dampen wider support in society.

Within a week of the bloody protests, another protest was held at Rajaprasong Intersection far from the Grand Palace area that has seemed to be a magnet for violence. A new spate of student protest leaders was presented at the protest, some reading out heartfelt demands for change in trembling voices and all were praised on social media afterwards. It was also promoted on social media that this new protest was entirely peaceful and it drew many thousands of people, thus showing the continuing potency of the movement.

All of this was a reset to the spiraling violence that was playing into the government hands and limiting wider sympathy towards the students and their causes.]

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