festivities protests continued on the streets of Bangkok for the third day. Today the red shirted protesters vowed to step up their campaign to topple the government by surrounding the government buildings and causing traffic chaos. The mood is still upbeat but I noticed there were less protesters today than on Sunday when the entire area was a sea of red.
The government continues to ignore the demands of the protesters and seems to be hoping that the protests will soon lose their funding from Thaksin Shinawatra. The protesters, perhaps sensing that their numbers are dwindling, are gearing up for their last grand gesture; they will throw their blood on the steps of the government buildings.
As with the earlier protests on Sunday I found the people to be surprisingly friendly. It definitely had an air of a parade rather than a serious political protest. I think that many of these people feel neglected in Thai society and Thaksin Shinawatra was the first politician to openly acknowledge them. Whether he did that because he genuinely cares for these people or whether he did it to buy votes will probably be debated in Thailand for a very long time.
With their numbers dwindling every day I can’t see these protests lasting much longer. Today the protesters are off to dump more blood at the home of Thailand’s Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva in what many regard as their last attempt to bring down the current government.
I’ve seen on the news that many tour operators are cancelling their bookings to Thailand but I’ve visited many of the popular tourist areas and so far none of them show any signs of the protests. The Thailand Tourist Authority have been interviewing tourists at various locations around the city and all of them are reporting no disruption to their holidays. Shops are open, transport is running and in most areas of the city there is no sign of any red shirt protesters. So far their threats to paralyze the city are simply words and the protest, confined to a small area of the city, seems to be something of an anticlimax.