One of the constants of street rallies is the use of guards. Their use really became significant with the People’s Alliance for Democracy. These guards are sometimes tough guys who might be little more than hired thugs. Others are no doubt also driven by by political allegiance. At the sharp end of the anti-democrat rallies, the guards and other toughs associated with them have been leading the charge on violent attacks on police, red shirts and bystanders.
As the guards have become more significant and as “security” concerns have been raised, the guards have become a law unto themselves. PPT provides three examples.
First, at Prachatai, there is a story PPT should have mentioned previously, but neglected it due to other demands. The story is of Kamthong Somchai from 17 January, who is a garbage collector and seller. Wearing a shirt with the slogan “We love Yingluck; we love Democracy,” which he had received during an election campaign, he was “[c]aptured by a group of alleged PDRC guards, he was asked if he was a red-shirt supporter…”.
Kamthong’s positive response led to him being “tortured and beaten for several hours, and blacked out several times. He was later released. His tricycle, wallet and ID card were taken along with 3000 baht in cash.”
Second, at Khaosod it is reported that a “pair of undercover policemen have been hospitalised after they were tortured by anti-government protesters on Chaeng Wattana Road…”. The report states that the cops were “captured by protest guards … as they were gathering intelligence among the anti-government protesters…”.
Remarkably, as seen in the picture below, they were “blindfolded and brought before Buddha Issara, Buddhist monk and core leader” of the anti-democrats in this area. Even more remarkably, the “monk interrogated the policemen until they admitted they were undercover cops sent to monitor the protests.”
The idea of a monk undertaking police-like interrogations seems bizarre. The anti-democrats take the view that their correctness provides them the necessary moral position to act as if state officials like police, prosecutors and so on.
It is also reported that:
PCAD guards also searched the officer′s mobile phones and found their LINE messages discussing the M79 grenade attack near PCAD rally site on 8 February, which offended the guards….
A group of anti-government guards also allegedly assaulted the 2 policemen before they eventually handed the pair back to the police force in the evening.
The picture of an organized group beating people who are held prisoners, monks interrogating them and guards being able to capture and search them says much.
Third, in a story at the Bangkok Post, this is taken further, with the “Network of Students and People for Reform of Thailand,” storming the Ministry of Industry and the Department of Mineral Resources. They demanded that “officials who were working to leave the building within 10 minutes.”
Clearly intimidating the officials, those who left “were also searched by the protesters who did not want them to take documents out of their office.” The idea that these thugs have any right to search anybody undertaking their official duties in government offices is remarkable.
Clearly these thuggish guards believe they are the law and act as the Nazi Brown Shirts did in the rise of Hitler. Back then, the Sturmabteilung (SA) had, as their “main assignments … providing protection for Nazi rallies and assemblies, disrupting the meetings of the opposing parties, fighting against the paramilitary units of the opposing parties … and intimidating [declared opponents]…”. That sounds exactly like the anti-democrat guards.