So there’s been some political unrest here in Thailand lately. The past couple of days the streets have been flooded with red-shirt wearing Thais calling for government reform. What event sparked all of this? Well, until recently I was a little foggy on the details myself, but after like the 3rd or 4th time I couldn’t get into the city because of transportation being blocked by those darn protestors, I thought I would do some digging and get to the bottom of this.
Basically, the former prime minister of Thailand was accused of, tried for, and found guilty of corruption and abuse of power. The previously mentioned red-shirt wearing Thais are supporters of Thaksin Shinawatra (the former prime minister), and are calling for new elections so that the people of Thailand can have control over the direction the country goes.
Here’s a video from Youtube giving a summary of the current situation here:
As serious as their threat to cripple Bangkok sound, my life here in Thailand hasn’t really been affected by the riots very much at all. Yes, they have caused some transportation issues here and there, but it seems like you can avoid any trouble if you just stay away from where the protestors gather (usually a very specific part of Bangkok).
Before the riots started, a bunch of my friends here texted me and told me to stay off of the street this week. For the most part, I followed their advice, so I had no idea if the riots were still happening. Well, yesterday my friend and I decided to go out into the city to shop for some provisions, and we happened to get a great overhead view of the revolution in action. I had forgotten my camera at home, so the following footage was taken from my friend’s Blackberry.
Yeah, the streets were flooded. It’s a little hard to tell, but it was raining that day too, and the red-shirts were still out on in their cars and motor bike cause mayhem. And this is a main road in Bangkok too (Sukhumvit), not some back county lane. Good thing I stocked up on plenty of food so I can stay holed up in my apartment until the revolution is over.