I didn’t feel like blogging while I was in Thailand but I took some pictures and I’ll post them gradually. These are of the”Red Shirt Protests” in Bangkok. In the years since I’ve left, I read a lot about the rise of the new middle class in Thailand both as a consumer and political phenomenon. This is totally different. The protesters are far from the middle and closer to the bottom, although the deposed leader that they support is one of the richer men in the world.
When I was there, there was no violence and it was a pleasant and peaceful communal atmosphere with the military and police keeping a respectful distance. As of today, the situation has become violent, with at least 11 deaths so far. Thai culture places a high value on composure and restraint, especially in public, so the concept of demonstrating is fairly transgressive and brings much angst. Hopefully, these events are really motivated by a desire for social justice even if they were initially orchestrated by a deposed plutocrat.