The Future Of Thailand’s Red Shirts
April 30, 2011 1 Comment
What the Red Shirt leaders need to do now is to change tactics, to more peaceful rallies. Their tactic of setting up barricaded camps, and then digging in there until authorities capitulate, is an obvious failure. It’s not going to work if the regime is prepared to murder people, either openly (with massed troops) or covertly (with snipers).
What they need to do now is to quickly assemble for peaceful rallies, with an obvious beginning and end, and then to disperse. The reason this was not done previously is because it is difficult for the poor to get together like that. They need to earn a daily living after all. The other problem is that this tactic did not work in Iran — not ultimately.
There must be such a feeling of helplessness in both these countries: In Iran, for the population as a whole, and in Thailand for the poor. How do you dislodge a regime that is prepared to murder on such a scale? Launch an insurgency? Well that would get you the condemnation of the international community.
The Red Shirts must change tactics if they are one day to achieve their democratic aims. Some will no doubt be driven to insurgency tactics, a result of their anger at the bloody crackdown, seeing friends die brutally. But the majority will probably turn to more peaceful tactics.
“Thai protest leaders called a halt to months of anti-government demonstrations and surrendered to police today after a bloody army assault on their camp left at least five dead.
Three foreign journalists were shot, one fatally, and at least three protesters were killed in Bangkok as Thai soldiers and armoured vehicles stormed the barricades of the Red Shirt encampment forcing surrender.
The army claimed it had seized control of the capital after seven Red Shirt leaders went on stage in the core protest zone to announce their decision to end the standoff. It was greeted with shouts of dismay from the men and women gathered there.
Protest leader Natawut Saikua said: “We have done our best.” Weng Tojirakarn said: “We want to prevent further losses of our Red Shirt brothers and sisters.” He said “let us first prevent further losses of lives,” and urged supporters to leave the area.”
‘Thai Red Shirts call off protest as Thai government troops storm barricades’
19 May, 2010