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    Posted June 26, 2013 by
    Bangkok, Thailand

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    By Dham Chausathapanasiri, an academician in journalism from Public Broadcasting Institute

    From what I have observed through my responsibility in research and personal interest, there are several interesting perspectives in the online and street protests of the “V for Thailand” group. This is especially the anonymity of the group. When political and media factions raise questions regarding “organizers / leaders / persons behind the scene of this campaign to create political pressure, this indicates that the political opponents are using the same frame of thoughts to look at politics of the other side using colors like they used to.

    In my personal opinion, there are several reasons V for Thailand needs to be an anonymous group with no organizers or a person as the representative of the group who is behind this as follows:

    (1) The core idea of V for Thailand is a “thought,” not a person who is a leader. People can be changed, killed, exchanged with money or benefits, or shut up, but an idea cannot be changed. If you watch the movie V for Vendetta, you will hear the thing V says while he challenges state power and a hail of bullets, “Behind this mask there is more than just flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea... and ideas are bulletproof.” ― Alan Moore, V for Vendetta

    (2) V for Thailand group’s political movement is a big mass of people. This means they want to reflect “V’s idea to oppose corruption” by having “all the people wearing white masks uniformly as representation of their idea equally and impartially as one.

    The purpose of V protests is “an image of people marching with white masks on as a symbol of street protests by heading into the same direction and that is the depravity of the government and politicians not according to organizers or leaders leading them.

    Therefore, the images of people across the country wearing masks and walking peacefully along streets with no pattern are because they believe in people gathering at their leisure and pleasure. They believe in an assumption that everyone has his or her own discretions.

    (3) V for Thailand group has organized a campaign step by step through observations of the pattern established, summoning of the masses, and its strategies to gradually develop it demands and fights. Those can bring more variety of people using the same message to oppose the corrupt government. This is the main discourse for their movement.

    Lets look at this sentence, ““People shouldn't be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.” ― Alan Moore, V for Vendetta

    This has turned into the main discourse to energize, call into action, alarm silence, and raise awareness in rights and duties of citizens on state power.

    This is while the secondary discourse, “Oppose the Thaksin regime” is a tangible example of the meaning of corruption because it can be seen most tangibly nowadays. This indicates the clearest purpose for subversion.

    (4) V for Thailand group does not define leaders because they will risk being turned into a “political faction” just like the others such as yellow shirts, the Alliances, or the multi-colored. That will not be good for their long-term strategies because eventually, the leaders will direct the masses and that may lead to loss of faith—therefore, having no leaders is the best.

    This is because once it becomes a political group, it will be classified into another political opponent and part of the disagreement Thai society has been familiar with and ignoring for the past several years.

    Organizing a group with no leaders also protects it from negotiation and compromise because the government does not know with whom to negotiate. This helps protect the group from the government’s benignity!

    (5) V for Thailand group does not specify leaders because that will cause the media (TV, radio, newspapers) to present news in an old pattern, for example, emphasizing the leaders’ voice or images on air. This will lessen the importance of ideas/thoughts and individuality of the masses that have gathered.

    This will cause the media to report news under the same frame of thoughts and that is as “a new source of opponents.” The media usually clings to news report in the form of binary opposition.

    There is evidence that “V for Thailand” group usually calls itself “V” or “V brothers and sisters.” They never call themselves “White Masks,” particularly the admin who never calls himself or the masses “White Masks” at all.

    However, there may have been part of the masses that call themselves “White Masks” and that may have been from some assumptions as follows:

    (1) “White Mask” is a term used by the media when it first called the V group. Why would mainstream media not call them the common name of the group?
    (2) The government, with experts in politics, journalism and marketing, may have asked the media to not call them “V for Thailand” but to use the word “color” instead. This is to communicate with people that they are “White Masks” to lessen their status and significance, and diminish them to just a “political disagreement of another color!”

    From what I have seen so far from watching news report on TVs, there have been no news stations holding their microphones to interview the people who gather. There are only images of the atmosphere from a wide angle and “general observation” on them. That is very peculiar and it proves that the media cannot interview people’s thoughts or the general public.

    The media may have been attached to “familiarity” in news report with having to have “representatives from opponents,” factions 1-2-3. But once there are no representatives, the media views this as just a phenomenon!

    The interesting thing is, the words “white mask” have come from the press although when the information is searched, we will see the words “Guy Fawkes mask” being used but readers may not understand them.

    It can be said that the media chooses to brand the “V-masked” people as just another color of political opponents—unintentionally from a habit.

    This shows that the media has a concept cleaved to conflicting scheme in its news report.

    (6) V for Thailand not having leaders but propelling its strategies with anonymous masses makes Thai media not know how to report news. This is because there are almost no news stations interviewing people wearing Guy Fawkes masks with their voice on air at all.

    This may be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on perspectives.

    The advantage is it will cause the ideology to be unchanged. There is no one more important in the masses.

    The disadvantage is reporters in the Thai media don’t know how to report this because they don’t know whom to interview!

    However, if you watch protests using Guy Fawkes masks in other countries, you will see that international media normally interviews people who gather. For the Thai media, it is dumb-founded!

    (7) V for Thailand being anonymous and having no leaders is because the V group has basis for its idea from trust in equality of people’s power. For battles with “virtual representatives,” every person represents the signs of dissatisfaction in the corrupt state power. Therefore, this will be there longer, becomes more sustainable and liberated. There is no one to lead anyone by the nose.

    Everyone protests with the feeling this is pure and independent intention.

    This causes the government on the other side of politics inability to secretly negotiate benefits, compromise, reach an agreement, or request anything, etc.

    This is a political struggle with no appearance or behalf. It is an ideological movement more than leadership of a person.

    Lastly, I think this is a “test of power and concept.” It is a political catalyst for Thai people with no attachment to a particular individual but to the “thought” or “idea” with its core from “dissatisfaction with evil politicians, corrupt government, and a tyrant leader.”

    This idea is more acceptable for people. It brings them together through their dissatisfaction.

    V wants to create and focus on “political phenomenon,” not a “political group.” A political group can be dissolved with benefits and compromise.

    V people’s agreement to meet is to test that a concept can lead people.

    There are principle sentences, “The People’s Army has presently risen. I declare that I am an owner of Thailand and will not permit anyone to corrupt my country any longer.”

    This is the main concept that cannot be put to death! A concept can create protests and rallies more than popularity of an individual!
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