Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Protest and Not a Police in Sight

Out with the Shins
Since the weather has been so great this season, I decided to join the crowds at Asoke intersection the Sunday passed. This, just to see for myself the ongoing protest that had been going on for some time. Got there by MRT, it was so crowded. MRT reported record breaking Sunday commute, normally a day when travelers are few. Pack like sardines my journey to Sukhumvit station, passengers had whistles hung off their necks. They were all going to the various protest sites scattered in the heart of Bangkok. Finally reaching, the ascend to road level was more than peak hour traffic, the sound of whistles from above ground could be heard through the passage.
Just out of the MRT
As I emerged, the atmosphere was a concert, not a protest. All smiles, and of course all the constant whistling in a relentless effort to blow the Shins out of the country. Bumped into some friends who were there since the early noon, they sat on the road, enveloped in the cool winter air beneath the clear skies. The babbling from the speakers echoed off the surrounding buildings, the sight of news helicopter reflected off the glass facade. Was there danger, no. There could be snipers I don't know. No one threw ping pong bombs, the nearest ping pong are the ejected ping pongs from ping pong shows at Soi Cowboy or Soi Na Na. No tear gas fired, strangely, not a police in sight, they didn't care or came they did not dare.
They came on Bikes
Cars and motorcycles parked everywhere on the roads that lead to Asoke, caretakers were there to watch over them. On bicycles some came, they had Thai flags and more tied to show their support in the fair. The cafes were filled, the tourist sat there. Watched the activities and with Thai flag stickers on their faces some had. It was an awesome sight. The spirits were high, the music played. There was singing as a thousand people and more their Thai flags waved in the air. Free drinks and food were distributed, all an act of voluntary effort. There was a first aid section set up, a drinks station setup, and I could see public cleaners at their corner waiting for their turn to sweep the grounds. It was well organized.

We can all Pee Now
A mobile toilet, which was just toilet in a bus, came to the relief of the many participants who were already overloading the public toilet of the many shopping arcades surrounding. This Sunday, central Bangkok could also had experienced record breaking toilet flushes and sewage flow.  More than 3 million the turnout throughout, just tens of thousands the news reported came out. Peaceful it was, chaos said some media source. There were some teens seen on noisy modified scooters riding about, whistle blowing, potential trouble causing, but part of the crowd they were not. These were the "third-hand" of the activities that should be caught. But where were the police? What to believe and what not, social media, public media, information of all sorts. You just have to join one, and then after that the answers you will have got.

All over and Above
Sitting on the Roads
Koreans? Japs?
Free Drinks from the Sikh
Flags and more Flags
Drinks Station
First Aid
Terminal 21 Overan
Good Business
For the Hair
Cleaners on Standby

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