Friday, 21 February 2014
Day 199 - Shutdown and Restarting Democracy in Thailand
After getting sidetracked yesterday, I told myself not do do the same thing again but get my visa done first and then see about the photography.
Well, once I spotted some barbed wire and more signs of the protests it all went out and I went back into photography mode and forgot about everything else.
I walked around the main protest headquarters from the looks of it but (understandably) I was not allowed inside to take more photos.
Afterwards, I took the boat to the main shopping district where the demonstrators have taken over whole intersections and roads. I have to say, I spent almost all day there and think they have done a remarkable job and the way everything is well organised is very impressive.
Unlike the 'Occupy' protesters which were mostly just a bunch of bums camping in the city center, the people here all do something, they sell things, create things to sell, provide massages and so on. Not only that but they created a pedestrianized zone and street market right on one of the busiest roads in Bangkok.
If you ask me, they have actually improved the city by blocking the roads and in some way I hope they keep the street market there no matter the result of this demonstrations.
It was hugely impressive and I have never seen so much red, white and blue before.
The stages they set up always provided something, either a speech, music or prayers and so on. The different stages also all had different things going on.
There were a lot of things to buy and food stalls, drinks and so on, the prices were also very reasonable and it meant a lot of people were shopping and wandering around even if they had nothing to do with the demonstrations as such.
Overall this was a very interesting day and shows how protesting is done. If the 'Occupy' protesters were even half as organized and did actually think of trying to shut down a city by blocking major intersections they would have had a lot more success and support from the public.
Just imagine blocking a few intersections and bridges around the City of London and you do shut it down because London almost shuts itself down every morning from the normal traffic.
I would certainly support anyone making the city of London into a pedestrianized zone with a street market and showing the government who has the power while doing so.
This was my last day for now in Bangkok and tomorrow, I will be heading north to Sukhothai for a few days and then on to Chiang Mai.