Updated: WSJ on red shirts

6 09 2010

The Wall Street Journal, like several other international outlets, comments on red shirts regrouping. One of the useful things in this article is the inclusion of a picture of the large red shirt rally in Pattaya (see below).

The article begins with the statement that the red shirts “are testing the limits of what political and military leaders will allow…” and says “another rally planned for Bangkok.” The main aim of the rallies is said to be: “the release of opposition activists arrested in the aftermath of May’s demonstrations. In their Bangkok rally, set for Sept. 17, they plan to lay red roses outside the prison where several Red Shirt leaders are being held on terrorism charges. They’re also encouraging supporters to stage other events to commemorate the 91 people killed during clashes between protesters and government security forces.”

Red shirt protesters in Pattaya (WSJ photo)

If they do rally in Bangkok, then the military-Abhisit Vejjajiva administration is ready – see here. Bangkok remains under the emergency decree.

Key red shirt leader Jatuporn Promphan “said in an interview during the Pattaya concert that the crackdown had left the movement uncowed—and that while the Red Shirts might lack strong leadership at the moment, adherents learned from that experience and can now put together their own smaller-scale protests.”

Referring to the Pattaya event, the WSJ says it “had much of the flair that drew tens of thousands of people to the earlier Bangkok protests. Cabaret dancers in black, thigh-high boots and feather boas performed on a large stage while speakers railed against the Thai army and Bangkok-based bureaucrats they say manipulate the system to keep themselves in power. Farther back from the stage, vendors sold sausages on sticks alongside DVDs and graphic photographs of some of the people killed during May’s Bangkok clashes. Entrance to the concert was set at 100 baht or approximately $3 a head.”

The day after the rally, Sombat Boonngamanong “organized a series of games and stunts on Pattaya’s main beach that drew around 300 people dressed wearing T-shirts with slogans such as ‘I Am Red’.” They also did a bit of a beach clean-up with both events announcing that the red shirts are back.

Update: Here’s a video of the Pattaya beach red shirt event:



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