Red shirt protests in Ubon Ratchathani

Most people around the world are aware of the nightmarish situation currently happening in downtown Bangkok so I have refrained from talking about here on my blog, however the protests have also started happening here in Ubon Ratchathani.

I have heard reports over the last few days of some roads being blocked by red shirt people but I have not seen them with my own eyes or seen any photos of it so refrained from mentioning it.

About two hours ago I heard that there were roads being blocked in the city and tyres were being set alight. I turned on my TV which has a feed from four traffic cameras on the main road as one of the channels and sure enough I could see some smoke. I called my wife who is at work and she told me that there was a protest at the entrance to the airforce base which is only 50m from our shop.

My first reaction was to head down with my camera and take some photos but as I am looking after my two kids that was impossible. Thankfully someone else went down and has just recently posted some photos on a public album. You can see them all here.

Here are two pics that give a good overall idea of what was happening.

In this photo you can see our shop Peppers, in the background. (We are still open and the pizzas are extra hot!)

Within an hour or so of it starting it was all over and the airforce base and Uppalisan Road are now back to normal.

*EDIT* 7pm, Sunday: The Thai government has added Ubon Ratchathani to the list of provinces that are now under a state of emergency.

49 responses to “Red shirt protests in Ubon Ratchathani

  1. I heard today that if the red shirts lose in Bangkok they will take their protests to the provinces and do similar actions for as many months or years it takes for them to “win”, whatever that means.

    Combine these actions with maybe a drought, then Thailand will really suffer.

  2. There has been a breakdown of public peace and order continues to escalate in Bangkok and, now it seems, to some of the provinces as well. The potential for more widespread anarchy is now my main concern. The government must act decisively, using whatever means available, to put an end to this dangerous and sorry state of affairs.

    Most of the protesters are as gullible as other rural/urban foot soldiers/canon fodder who are being used by the puppets of Thaksin and his ilk. The Red Shirt protests/demonstrations have nothing to do with a struggle for true democracy in Thailand. The poor and gullible are mere dispensable pawns in the feudal power game between Thaksin and his supporters against the government in Bangkok.

    The radical militant red shirts will be put down in the end. They are not fighting for true democracy. They are Thaksin’s mercenary soldiers, many of whom have got carried away with their own self-importance and machismo. They are immersed in the exhilaration of being able to give the finger to the authorities but this will be short-lived. They will be identified, isolated, and put away by the security forces in the end.

    I am trying not to let this ongoing madness depress me. I trying to stay calm and be neutral. I feel that this is the best way to be in the current situation.

  3. Do you know how much the red shirts get paid a day to protest by Thaksin?

    • most don’t get paid at all. I spoke with a girl that works in an optics store at the Carrefour store in On Nut and she said her parents come every weekend at their own expense and don’t get paid at all. I’ve spoken with many who say the same. Also, many yellow shirts got paid. And, finally, it doesn’t matter how much they get paid, what they stand for is the right thing and if it takes someone’s money to get the job done, then so be it. More power to the people funding the revolt
      !

  4. Its saddens me to see these idiots disrupting my beloved Ubon. This will achieve absolutely nothing, other than to piss – off harding working Thais and aussies alike, as if their demise at 20/20 wasnt enough

  5. Sorry to see this happening so close to Peppers, I hope you and your family are ok.

  6. The current price being paid is 1000 baht/day/person to the ordinary folk. The gun carrying thugs get a lot more . A carrot has been offered in that if the red shirts get into power they will pay each protesting family 200,000 baht and pay off their outstanding debts. That is why so many families sit in the red shirt mob areas with their wives, mothers and children. They really believe in gold at the end of the rainbow.

    • what autocratic ruled country do you come from believing that ordinary people can’t have the sincere interest in justice and representation.

      Your statements assume that the majority of Thais are stupid and ignorant. That’s pretty arrogant in my opinion.

      • Thanks for adding your voice. Most “farang” are worried that their “siesta” may be disturbed! They do not know the heart-beat of the folks “on the ground”.

  7. I have no idea if anyone is getting paid, but rural people aren’t gullible pawns. Talk to them and you’ll find they can articulate what they are fighting for.

    I can’t help but wonder what would happen in my own home country if the military staged a coup and had an unelected leader…

    • Congrats, TR. You hit two of the nails bang-on!

    • 100% right on!!!

      The arrogance of some foreign posters is astonishing and beyond my comprehension.

      In fact, it is not them being used by 1 or more rich people, it is them using the rich people for the bigger cause.

  8. Michael Hare, Is the Bangkok and Thailand with its “gullible poor” on planet Earth? To imply that the folk from other parts of Thailand (that is, the Thailand that I live in) are “puppets” and therefore ignorant, not being able to think for themselves, not having the right to have a say in the government of their own country, is racist and insulting to say the least.
    The “militant red shirts” are a lot less militant than the elite Yellow shirts, and the double standards that have been applied in control is a huge travesty of justice. Those elite thugs, paralysed the country by forcibly closing the two international airports, sowed havoc, spread hatred and lies, yet the military refused to lift a finger to stop them. No, they openly sided with them. You see, in society, when a rich kid causes trouble, there will be excuses in his favour and “other people” will get the blame. When a kid from a poor family gets into trouble, NO mercy. Abhisit and his croneys rule by what they perceive as entitlement. It is unthinkable for the elite to be controlled by what they consider to be of lower station than they.
    Do not for one moment believe that the red shirts consists only of poor rural folk. There are huge numbers of professional people, academics and wealthy business persons of high social standing that support the same cause.
    Now, why persist on bringing Thaksin into the picture. This is not about Thaksin. It is about the illegal disenfranchisement of 60% of the population. That he may peripherally play a role, OK. After all, bad or not, he is the one the vast majority of voters wanted to lead this country. I look only at the balance sheet. When this man was voted to lead the country, Thailand was in a rather poor position economically (under the elite!). At the time he was removed by the military, under guidance from the Bangkok elite, this country was prospering. Well, look at the balance sheet now! Now, I don’t know the man or whether he was corrupt. The figures tell me he was good at governance. The figures tell me that the Democratic party have F…ed-up every single time they have “governed”. Don’t defend the result; look at the scoreboard! The mood of the people goes along with all said before. Before Thaksin the terrible, they had nothing. He was the one that enabled them to at least have a motorcycle to get the family around on and a mobile telephone, same as the rich guys. The king must get a lot of credit, but it was this horrible Thaksin that also inspired them to work harder and take care of themselves so that they might make a contribution to the economy and at the same time be more able to send their kids for better education so that they could gain a few steps in standing.
    There is not ONE country that you can show me that does NOT have corruption. Within AND out of government. Not in the whole wide world.
    The red shirts showed there good faith by not staging violent protests and not trying to hurt fellow human beings. Now they are being massacered by cowardly, heavily armed soldiers. “Cowardly” is especially aimed at the generals who gave these orders. It is a militarily admitted fact that there are only three brigades on which these generals may depend to fight their dirty “war”. The others may just turn on them. The public was “treated” to a TV interview with a general which had video footage of a sniper at work, apparently quite content to take aim and kill unarmed civilians. Then it is dished up to us ignorant people that these snipers are there for the protection of the people! Tell that to the kindergarten, or to the population of the planet that you and “Bulldog” share.
    Michael and Bulldog, if these “poor gullible” folk stop producing this country’s life-giving rice, Thailand is finished.
    A thought just came up. Why is the rest of the world not condemning this slaughter? Why are there just a few taps on the knuckles? No embargos? No boycotts? No invasions? Well, no oil, no gold, no diamonds, no uranium, no strategic sea-route. The normal double standards.
    In case you’re wondering what planet I’m on, it is planet Ubon Ratchathani, where I was launched to more than 4 years ago. I’ve been in the constellation of Thailand for more than 6 years. I am married to one of the local ET’s. I have few “farang” friends, mostly because of the same traits you two display. Colonial arrogance is the main one. And guess what. I come from a so-called “high social standing” too.
    Go and read the book written by Warren Buffet’s son. Paricularly his views on “entitlement”. Now who could have been raised more prosperously than that author?
    What first hand experience do I have? How about “South African”?
    All these people are asking is immediate free and fair elections so as to have a legal government.
    Payment? Bullshit! How about the TV news showing Abhisit handing out 1000Baht bills to these poor gullibles?

  9. Well hi to you David,

    Don’t get into a debate with me David because I will beat you hands down every time on Thai history and the current problems within Thailand. I have been in Thailand since 1974 and in Ubon since 1994. I have watched the corrupt Thaksin and his ilk rise to power in the mid 1990s.

    The military coup in 2006 wrongly overthrew the then “democratically” elected prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra because Thaksin was about to change the constitution and laws to benefit his own businesses. But the coup was not democracy. I disagreed with it.

    One year later the coup council handed the power back to the people in 2007 and The People Power Party (PPP) (Thaksin’s proxy party) won the following election. That was “democracy” Thai style with vote buying..

    The PPP was banned by the Constitution Court for electoral irregularities and the parliament,_ the democratically elected representatives of Thailand, voted the Democrats into power with coalition partners. That was democracy. No vote buiying but probably buying of party support.

    The United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) argue against the Democrat-led coalition government’s legitimacy and protest for the government to step down and call a general election.

    That was democracy.

    And the UDD had won. David hear this-THEY WON.

    The goals of the UDD from the very start: They wanted a House dissolution. They were offered one in September. They wanted a general election. They were offered one on Nov 14. All within seven months and PM Abhisit Vejjajiva’s term actually ends in January 2012, a year and a half from now! He bend over backwards to get a peaceful end to this red shirt protest. He was called a hero.

    The UDD should be dancing in the streets, celebrating victory. Thais can all go to the voting booth in November. Peace and democracy. But no.

    The truth has revealed itself. The United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship is simply using democracy as a front in the interests of dictatorship.

    361 people died over the 5 day Songkran period on Thai roads. Thaksin supported the killing of 2500 so called druggies. None were brought to trial. Thaksin supported the killing of 70 people on the backs of trucks in the south. Thaksin supported the massacre of 35 young men in a Temple.

    Refusing the peaceful compromise, forsaking the democratic process, continuing to harm the country for the interests of one man, Thaksin Shinawatra, fighting against security forces of the rightful democratic government of Thailand _ that’s an uprising, it’s a rebellion.

    And by the way David, you will read above my comments on democracy. However, there really isn’t any real democracy in Thailand because it is whoever has the biggest coffers wins. And when “Thak Rak Thai” came in in 1989, I have never seen such balant hand outs before. Thaksin will always win, hands down whenever elections are held. So why bother to fight. Just wait until the elections in November.

    Thaksin could have been a really geat leader. He had terriffic ideas. But vhe wanted first of all to benefit himself.

    I don’t like the Democratic party. Read your history. When they were first set up in 1946 or 47, they falsely accused the only decent man Thailand had last century, Pridi Banomyong of firstly, being behind the young King’s assassination and secondly of being a communist. Pridi had to go into exile for the next 30 years.

    Ask your village friends if they have ever accepted a election handout. If they have, then they are also contributing to the cycle of corruption.

    • Oooh, Michael, you scare me with your wonderful biased “knowledge” of Thailand. I don’t scare easily when it comes to debating. You certainly will not succeed at intimidating me with the absolute eyewash you dish up:

      Your words:

      • The PPP was banned by the Constitution Court for electoral irregularities and the parliament,_ the democratically elected representatives of Thailand, voted the Democrats into power with coalition partners. That was democracy. No vote buiying but probably buying of party support.

      Facts:
      The PPP was banned by a court loaded with military appointees under a constitution imposed upon the people. The BALANCE of the democratically elected representatives is a more accurate wording, Michael. Democracy has only ONE definition: Government for the people, by the people, from the people. Anything else is not democracy. That includes the writing of a constitution. Roughly 30% of the left-over representatives were in that parliament by the will of the people.

      Why should the people wait for a free and fair election?

      Why should an unelected prime minister be given the privilege of budgeting for a country of whom the majority do not want him. Why should he be given the privilege of appointing the fresh military structure who will then back him again when he is defeated? This is why this mirror watcher wants an election later rather than sooner. Vain-glory and pride; losing face is what it is known as. A sin to be avoided at all costs. It seems even at the cost of innocent people whom the Bangkokian elite regard as dispensible.

      Quit bringing up this stale Thaksin thing. This is all the argument the anti-redshirts have to lean on. Read my comment again properly. I have no evidence for or against these handouts every Yellow keeps taliking about. For that matter I do have just a little feedback from street vendors in BKK who were given money-gifts by the Democrats and (here we go again) the hate-Thaksin brigade.

      My history is South African. Born and bred there and proud of it. We were subjected to her majesty’s impositions in our early history and it took Vicky’s troops 20-1 and a policy of “scorched earth” to get the majority of our people to the table, without surrender. More recent history shows some similarities to what is happening here. Except, when our police and troops were used, the weight of world vested interests and greed was upon us. I stand outside a house looking in, where I stood at that time inside a house looking out. This ‘Government’ can not hold on.

      Sorry, your historic facts do not impress. They are of no import to the present situation.

      • David,

        You are not alone, this racist hypocrite is the same as the ignorant people who have enslaved people, created cast systems, violently support minority rule, etc. for ever. You can’t make a point with his type, they are so caught up in their own dogma they can’t rationalize anything.

        They use excuses of Thaksin, corruption, this or that to dismiss the underlying fact that every country in the world that has transitioned to democracy for a period of time develops systems and means and cultural attitudes to deal with all of the issues he complains about.

        Autocratic, absolute, fascist, dictatorships are the root of all problems that countries in this world have. That power, whether held by Thaksin or whoever, is going to lead to corruption. Only true representative government that has the ability to keep the military out of the equation can ever transition into a stable, long-lasting, prosperous government.

        Thailand has to have democracy even if it means imperfect and takes a long time to get it right. Denying that for any reason of the past when the entire system is corrupt is just plain stupid.

        • Now, here is someone with some vision. Might have been me writing your post! Oops, Sorry, that sounds a bit conceited…..
          But true, the country chose democracy and they have to take the olives with the pudding. Everything that goes wrong here is Thaksin’s fault!!! In South Africa, 16 years after, everything that goes wrong is apartheid’s fault. Corruption is as rife as ever in both countries! The perception of entitlement, especially that of the so-called elite, and politicians; this is the root cause of the crap.

  10. I like this. This is fun reading. I love debates.

  11. Either half of Michael Hare’s last post was cut and pasted from a Bangkok Post column by Voranai Vanijaka, or Khun Voranai owes Michael Hare a credit.

    As for the protestors being ignorant or gullible, I don’t know about that. It seems they are simply acting in their own best interests – 30,000 baht per month, plus food and incidentals and the promise of a bigger payday at the end is probably the best job many of these folks have ever had or will ever have.

  12. Why doesn’t anybody talk about how Thaksin laundered his money through the purchase of Man. City FC then flipping it to the group of ME investors. I wish the thai press would look into it.

    • What on earth has that got to do with the present situation.So he was bad….. Sit down, man, the people are laughing.

  13. Firstly, “David”, please quote where I labelled these folk gullible, poor. I think you’ll find I labelled them idiots, for which they are, disrupting in Ubon and achieving absolutely zilch, other than pissing off decent folk. As for questioning whether or not Thaksin/Toxin was corrupt, now you’re just being silly.

    As for Mr. Hare, by your logic unless you’ve been in Thailand since time began, you cant have a discussion about politics in Thailand. Interesting logic, seeing the number of foreigners I know who’ve lived in Thailand for 20 plus years and the extent of their Thai language abilities is to order kao pat moo. And yet these barstool experts claim to be all knowledgeable about Thailand.

    For the record, I cant stand either Ahbisit or Toxin, they’re both tools

    • I strongly disagree about the idiot label. I’ll have to see a shrink, then. I must have married an idiot! Fair comment on Lord Hare, though, and I LOVE your accuracy on the barstoolers! I’m going to use that one and tell nobody I got it from you! And I do like the record!!

    • The only decent folks in Udon are those who support democracy, period, end-of-that-story. Any other argument or complaint is foolish and idiotic.

      I assume you come from a democratic country, or maybe it is the autocratic military rule that you like in Thailand. Did you come from South Africa? Or maybe another racists country like Australia.

      • Anybody who thinks selling their vote is Ok cannot really appreciate the true value of democracy.
        buying votes is NOT democracy.
        Anarchy and arson is not democracy.

        But Thais would at least know about racism….

  14. Bulldog: To think, there are people fighting to ensure your freedom and your future. We can all see the oppression and the corruption of your government from outside Thailand. You are wearing blinders.

    The “off harding working Thais and aussies alike” (terrible english by the way) should stand united with the red shirts and promote some positive change. Its people like Bulldog who turn the other way, continue to support oppression and deny hope and a potential future to Thais in the future.

    Sometimes “good enough” isnt the best for everyone. You are obviously no longer one of the people being oppressed. Stop thinking of yourself, and start thinking about the greater good for everyone. Stop turning a cold shoulder, and stop denying your people a future.

  15. Also David, I would be very careful about posting your comments about Pridi on any website, not a particulalrly smart thing to do

  16. Errm sorry Brad, if they’re fighting for MY freedom they should be writing to Nick Clegg asking why he’s formed a coalition with the New Right, seeing as I live in England. “Your government”? wtf..? As I said, I’ve got no time for either Ahbisit or Toxin, strangely enough, the same view my view from Amphur Daetudom, Ubon shares..

  17. solidairity with the ‘red shirts’ and anyone else fighting for some long needed social justice in TH.

    “gullible pawns” probally tells us more about TR than TH.

    great blog story though… unreported anywhere else.

  18. see David’s comment. I couldn’t say it better.

  19. This is great reading, keep it up. What happened to Michael??? You are losing the debate…. rebuttal…

  20. JB, I am not losing it but I have a business to run and employees to pay.

    My latest comments are posted on the most recent blog as this one, at 26 comments is getting full.

    The best International unbiased newspaper on the current situation to read is the New York Times.

  21. Remember Cambodia, Laos And S. Vietnam.

    -Stationed Ubon RTAFB, 1969.- USAF-

  22. No, Michael, you are not losing. You have lost! Your bucket’s got a hole in it!
    And, shame, Mommy’s unarmed troopy-woopies only had little dinky-toy armoured lollies and automatic lifles and flack jackets and teargas and glenades and helmets to defend themselves with against those naughty boys and girls with mortally dangerous slingshots…..

  23. Just wanted to add in response to michaels post. The UDD had only “won” an early election under conditions impossible to accept – including no amnesty for leaders. Compare that to how the yellow shirt leaders were treated. Much is made of redshirts being paid – but so were the yellows. Thaksin was undoubtedly corrupt and the Shin Scandal was final straw, he had to go and in a young democracy like Thailand without independent judiciary I felt that at least that time the tanks were a good idea and that was the only time myself and Thai Wife had a real disagreement.
    I’ve learned a lot about Thai Politics since then !
    Samak thrown out because he earned money doing a cooking show. What a laugh.
    It seems really clear that the old elites hold the plebs in such disdain they actually do believe the people are stupid ! They’re not posturing at all !
    Wish I could offer an answer, just trying to level the field here because I simply cannot believe the number of expats who’ve swallowed the elitist line. Unless they secretly believe it. Or still look for reds under the bed 🙂
    Just thought of an answer. Ghandi achieved miracles with non violent resistance. A general strike can also achieve a lot. We all know it’s not over yet, I’m just praying the reds can prove themselves morally superior by adopting such means of demonstrating

    • Don’t agree with everything you say but you at least put your brain in gear before you engaged your mouth (or your typing finger)! About the Yellow and Red you are spot-on. And, yes, you may have seen that I said in an earlier comment the redshirts were absolutely dispensible in the eyes of the BKK elitists. The “court” that kicked Samat out…… who put that court there?

  24. Yes, burning Centreworld Plaza and using children as shields is a just way to achieve your aims, pip pip!

  25. Mr David seems to have many niks; I believe its called “trolling” or maybe he needs them to think out his perverse fantasies.

    • I see all the comments that come in here and David is only using his original sign up name.
      Bulldog, I have just deleted two of your comments, this is my one and only warning to watch the personal insults.

    • Would you like 1 finger, or 2? Tsk,tsk, sa.a.ad human being. Off your easy chair yet? Out of beer? Safe and secure in GB?

  26. Sorry, Memock……. but he had that coming. I’ll pay no further attention to it.

  27. No need for further discussion. The red shirts lost – deal with it.

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