You’ve got to love the red shirt protesters in Bangkok, Thailand. As the increasingly ineffective government of Prime Minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, attempts to slow or stop the increasing anti-government protests, red shirt protesters are winning every fight.
Today, red shirt protesters headed to the Thaicom satellite TV station in northern Bangkok to attempt to get the TV signal turned back on. The TV station was running the television channel that is pro-red shirt protesters, so the government shut it down yesterday saying it was airing “lies”.
The red shirt protesters, in convoy, set out around lunchtime to storm the station and turn on the TV signal (I was on the freeway in northern Bangkok at the time and can attest to the fact that there were at least 10,000 of them). Once at ThaiCom, the protesters were confronted with the Thai military who attempted to turn them back. Skirmishes and some fighting ensued, the Thai military fired tear gas, which the protesters threw back, causing the military to have to retreat from the rising gases. A few minutes later – 1-nil to the red shirt protesters. The TV channel was turned back on and the red shirts announced victory. Then they stole guns and ammunition the military had left lying around.
Later, some soldiers arrived to shake hands with the protesters (it’s common knowledge in Thailand many soldiers and police support the red shirts and not the current government the red shirts are fighting) and congratulate them on their win.
When the Thai military cannot, or won’t, defend a TV station, what chance does Abhisit have of them defending him and his government? Really.