Updated: The struggle continues

11 04 2010

AP reports that red shirts have “dug into their encampments around Bangkok and rejected talk of negotiations Sunday after a month-long standoff escalated into clashes that killed 21 people in Thailand’s worst political violence in nearly two decades.” It adds that: “Bullet casings, pools of blood and shattered army vehicles littered the streets near a main tourist area where soldiers had tried to clear the protesters. At least 874 people were injured in what one newspaper called ‘The Battle for Bangkok.’ Protesters are demanding that the prime minister dissolve Parliament, call early elections and leave the country.”

AP reports that “protesters continued to occupy two main bases — one in the capital’s historic district and another along the main upscale shopping boulevard.”

The red shirts were able to show “a pile of weapons they had captured from the troops, including rifles and heavy caliber machine-gun rounds. More than half a dozen military vehicles, armored personnel carriers, Humvees and a truck, were crippled by the protesters, who ripped off the treads of the armored cars.”

Remarkably, the red shirts have again been able to restore People TV. They “broke into a satellite communications complex in a northern Bangkok suburb, forcing the operators to restore the Red Shirts’ vital People Channel television station, which the government has twice shut down.”

Red shirt leader Jatuporn Promphan “said Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s hands were ‘bloodied’ by the clashes.” He added: “Red Shirts will never negotiate with murderers…. Although the road is rough and full of obstacles, it’s our duty to honor the dead by bringing democracy to this country.” His colleague Veera Musigapong called on followers to refrain from further violence against government forces: “Please don’t tarnish the victory we are very close to winning now…”.

Update: The red shirt perspective – including on the soldiers held “hostage” – is presented in this video from Al Jazeera. Readers may recall that PPt also asked for evidence that showed armed red shirts. In this video there is some footage of people who may be red shirts, one carrying an AK47 (at about 2:27 minutes in). There are plenty of pictures of armed soldiers.



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