Bangkok Burns

The situation in Bangkok went from bad to worse in the early morning hours of May 19. After weeks of negotiations with the red protesters that seemed to go nowhere, the military smashed through their bamboo barricade and proceeded to clear the area around Lumpini Park of protesters.

The leaders of the red protest movement had offered to turn themselves in to the police in an attempt to halt any further violence but this concession only seemed to enrage their followers. Immediately after the announcement that the red leadership would surrender, the protesters started attacking the luxury shopping malls around their encampment. They smashed windows, looted the stores and then set fire to the buildings. By the afternoon, clouds of black smoke could be seen rising from various parts of downtown Bangkok.

As the Military advanced on the main red stronghold near the Rajprasong area, the protesters spread out through the city in an attempt to establish another base of operations. Explosions and gunfire could be heard throughout the city as wherever the red protesters went violence seemed to follow. Banks, shopping malls and movie theatres were all targets for attack by a mob that felt betrayed by their leaders.

Fire personnel, ambulance crews and even foreign journalists were all targets for the red protesters who seemed bent on destroying the city. By the afternoon the government had declared a city-wide curfew in an attempt to clear the streets of civilians so they could begin to contain the protesters.

While many in the city are glad to see an end to the red shirt occupation of the downtown core, others are worried that with a lack of leadership the red movement could descend into guerilla warfare with the Thai government.

It seems that finally clearing the protesters out of the city core has solved one problem for the government, it has also created many more. For the weary citizens of Bangkok it might be a long time before life returns to normal.

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10 Responses

  1. Gor Ecki says:

    Thanks Tony for your reports through YouTube and Twitter (and now even podcast) about that special country we love: Thailand. Please continue your reports (loved the piece about the dog foundation) and be careful out there !! (getting caught in the crossfire in April… man… terrible).
    Sawasdee khrap, Leo

  2. BoyYEG says:

    Very Powerful……. Thank You Tony

  3. Jamie MIlks says:

    Hey Tony,

    At 1:37 seconds onto the video was that Red Shirt dude prompting to smash you with the club or was he posing… cause from his eyes and then looking off screen it looked like he was told to not do it.

  4. Joe Doe says:

    Lots of honest people on all sides dragged into a bloody war by filthy rich, powerful and greedy cowards playing chess in the background. Heartbreaking!

    Thank you for this video! Pictures are a thousand words.

  5. Thomas says:

    Great video.It’s a Tragedy for the Country

  6. Michael says:

    I’m merely speaking my mind here and this is just my opinion but this video seems to give just cause to the red shirts. Based on the video footage and music. I just need to say that these red shirts are nothing more than terrorist. Some will say they are not but given their actions for the last 2 months, they are terrorist. They were given every opportunity to get their voice heard and that was not good enough. Thaksin funded and guided this terroristic protest and he should be and will be held accountable.

    Now back to the reason for my comment. Your video is biased to the red shirt and gives them more of a platform. I don’t know if this was your purpose or not but that is the way it seemed. They freaking burned things down because their leader told them to do it. He was video taped telling them to burn down Bangkok.

    They are terrorist and that is it and I think your video should have showed that but it didn’t. It put them in somewhat a different light. A light of reasoning that which didn’t exist…

    Again, this was just my opinion. No disrespect to you or your site because I really like your site, just not this video…

    Michael

  7. Michael says:

    Correction to the comment:

    “They are terrorist and that is it and I think your video DIDN’T show that”

  8. Jason says:

    It’s pretty crazy what’s going on in Thailand. I love it there. I lived there for several years and it’s sad to see this much crap going on.

    Lol, My favorite part of the video is at 6:13 You are following the reporters and then the hot chick starts walking by and your camera follows her instead.

  1. May 30, 2010

    […] idea for this post came from Tony’s video: Bangkok Burns. I started to leave a comment, then realized that I had too much to say. Also, I wanted to write […]