Updated: PAD rallies, legal delays and class

22 04 2010

Update: Prachatai has pictures and video of Silom skirmishes here.


While some in the media pretend that the pink shirt/multi-color/no color shirt, holding mainly small  rallies opposed to the red shirts, are “new,” other have been less disingenuous and acknowledge that these rallies are organized and led by People’s Alliance for Democracy. At the same time, their songbook is from an earlier era of anti-communist ultra-nationalism (Songs). As the PAD-led demonstrators briefly clash with red shirts (see here also), the Bangkok Post (22 April 2010) reports that the “prosecution has again deferred its decision whether to indict nine leaders of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) in connection with the 193-day seizure of Government House in 2008.” 16 June is now the date set for a decision on whether to prosecute this case from 2008.

One interesting story about the anti-red shirt rallies refers to a claim by Puea Thai Party spokesman Prompong Nopparit claim that “the rallies by the no-colour people group had violated the emergency law, but the Centre for the Resolution of Emergency Situations and police had taken no action. This was a clear double standard.”

He further claimed “that a group of businessmen had given 100 million baht to support the organising of pro-government demonstrations.” He stated that government “politicians had called on their  supporters to gather, and  businessmen linked to four giant firms provided financial support. He did not name  the four companies.”

PPT doesn’t doubt that funding and organization is required to rally – the same is true for the red shirts, who night after night read out the names of those donating money to the rally and receive support from Puea Thai politicians. That is not the same as saying that these demonstrators are paid or duped. There’s considerable and genuine feeling and emotion invested on sides in these rallies.

What was even more interesting was the observation that the shirted rallies are “a clear case of class division; on one side the capitalists who back Mr Abhisit [Vejjajiva], government politicians, the armed forces and the aristocratic elite, and on the other side the grassroots-class people.” The images from the Saladaeng intersection of a razor-wired Silom business district protected by fully-armed troops and two groups of people facing off who look very different.



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