- Posted May 12, 2010 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Crisis in Bangkok
The Man in the Street is Going Nowhere
Bangkok, Tuesday May 11th
'No Justice, Harmony does not occur' reads a torn red banner dangling from the Chitlom Skytrain station near the Red Shirts' Rajprasong encampment. It's the middle of the afternoon, about 37 degrees and very humid. The Red Scarved dog beneath the banner is panting.
The words 'MEGA STORE' are visible through a tear in the tattered plastic cover over the street in front of the stage where a succession of Red Shirt leaders struggle to get much response from a comparatively sparse crowd whose main concern is food and sleep. The mega store has been closed for weeks during which the majority of Bangkokians have been longing for life to return to normal.
It's 2 weeks since the BBC's Hardtalk programme in which Zeinab Badawi shouted down Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva while he was patiently attempting to explain the legality of his coming into power. The walls around Rajprasong are splattered with images of him as the devil, or Adolf Hitler, most with the eyes put out.
Tuesday was yet another of PM Abhisit's deadline days given for the protesters to start their exodus, after deputy PM Suthep had met their main stipulation that he should 'turn himself in' to the Department of Special Investigation to answer charges regarding the use of live bullets against protesters at Phan Fa bridge on April 10th. The deadline, like previous ones, came and went. There had been a disagreement over the meaning of 'turning in'. The Red Shirts were angry that no legal process was actually initiated against Suthep and so they in turn refused to honour their part of the deal, which was to hand themselves over to the authorities and thereby end their protest.
Whatever the protesters' leaders say, the majority of the Red Shirts I've spoken to have no intention of leaving Bangkok until the government is ousted... however long that takes.