Wearing red in Bangkok

Not much for Red Shirts to do, except sell red shirts

My only day in Bangkok a few weeks ago, I wandered the streets and, in particular, the Red Shirt protest zone. The protests are making the news more frequently as the political situation worsens and violence breaks out.

I can’t pretend to sort out the full politics, but the tension includes a healthy dose of class struggle. The Red Shirts, the protesters that are camped in the Thai capital, are mostly poor villagers with nothing better to do, led by a populist leader. They accuse the other side — the Yellow Shirts — and the current government of being morally bankrupt and only focused on urban wealth.

I should also note that it’s generally accepted, if not publicly agreed to, that there’s corruption on both sides of the political-cum-violent struggle.

Tempers are clearly rising now, but the one day I was there, things were peaceful. Aside from a bit of rallying which I stayed away from, the Red Shirts mostly were hanging out as above and below. Police were on guard, but seemed half-asleep at their posts when I spoke to them briefly.

When things began to heat up, I canceled my plans to return to Bangkok for a few days and bailed on more serious photojournalism; I instead stayed on Koh Tao and kept diving. First things first, plus I was clearly on a tourist visa.

You’ll have to make do with these photos.

Selling red clothes will make a guy hungry

Unnecessary riot gear is heavy

His T: Red shirt Calvin takes a leak on Thai government

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One Response to “Wearing red in Bangkok”

  1. ADAM JADHAV » Blog Archive » Thai food diary: Street kitchen Says:
    July 23rd, 2010 at 11:39 am

    [...] kind of seafood, egg stir-fry. Oh thank heaven. This is also what the Red Shirts did before Bangkok really exploded. Share this [...]

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