Redshirts unrest Thailand

Thailand, growing pains 2010

For more than 2 months, the so-called “Red shirts” ie. the "United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD)" occupied the business center of Bangkok. They rallied for an immediate dissolution of the Parliament and called for new elections, yet –for now at this day, PM Abhisit’s government remains in power.

Bangkok sporadically became a battleground, and still lives under state of emergency since the ‘final crackdown’ of the 19th of May. The last week of the Rajprasong occupation, snipers and mysterious Black men (believed to be the armed wing of some radical red shirts leaders) painted the sky of Bangkok in black and red, while ‘communards’ red shirts grew barricades and fought with handmade explosives: Blood and Fire. The Capital was burning, while the illusion of the ‘Thai smile’ finished melting down.

Thai society is more divided than ever. What stroke me the most about what I have witnessed, was the chaos and the incredible hate among Thais, unveiling dramatic sleeping tectonic tension. Indeed, as journalist Andrew Marshall sharply pointed out: “Thailand is having an identity crisis. Its society is deeply fractured. Its people are divided and have lost faith in the institutions, which had long claimed to have their best interests at heart—military, monarchy, bureaucracy. Decades of healthy economic growth had allowed people to ignore these fractures, but not anymore. Thailand has stopped believing its own bullshit”. Indeed,

If the defiant UDD had one main ‘enemy’ –the elite system, violence actually spread all over different actors on the ground. On black Saturday (10th of April), Reds fought against the Army, while the “Black Men” apparently stirred up the violence and forced the troops to a real debacle on several occasions. Impressive bamboo and tires barricades grew in key spots in the very center of Bangkok. Grenades exploded. Thais clashed against Thais.

Complex, volatile and still sharply fresh in the mind of Thai people who now live under the military junta government, the 9 weeks of violence resulted in the biggest life cost in decades in Thailand: at least 90 people died in clashes, including 2 foreign journalists.

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Redshirts unrest Thailand

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Phadung Krung Kasem intersection, Thai troops fired live bullets, blank bullet, tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse the red shirts protestors. 10th of April 2010. Violence escalate and the situation gets more volatile
Phadung Krung Kasem intersection, Thai troops try to disperse the red shirts protestors who throw stones, chairs, any object, at them. Bangkok Thailand
Phadung Krung Kasem intersection, Thai troops fired live bullets, blank bullet, tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse the red shirts protestors. 10th of April 2010. Violence escalate and the situation gets more volatile.
Red Shirts against Thai Army in Ratchadamnoen avenue, near Democracy monument, Bangkok Thailand
Red Shirts protestors formed a human shield to escape from the assault of the Thai Army, adjacent street from Ratchadamnoen avenue, Bangkok Thailand, 10th of April 2010
While fightings between Thai Troops and red Shirts protestors took place in Ratchadamnoen Avenue and its back streets, near Democracy Monument, I ran into a masked man, who shouted at me for taking the photo of him carrying an AK 47.
A red Shirt protestor who has been shot is carried away. Fighting between red shirts and army was intense in Ratchadamnoen Avenue near Democracy Monument, Bangkok Thailand, 10th of April 2010
Beginning of the Battle of bangkok after the killing of Gen. Seh Deang in the red zone: Rama IV road, a red shirt supporter tries to take cover while we are targetted by unknown shooters from the Lumpini park direction, Bangkok Thailand, 13/05/10
Beginning of the Battle of bangkok after the killing of Gen. Seh Deang in the red zone: Rama IV road, a red shirt protestor just got shot in the head on Rama IV road. Bangkok Thailand, 13/05/10
Beginning of the Battle of bangkok after the killing of Gen. Seh Deang in the red zone: Wittayu road, Red shirt protestor 'attack' only Thai army located in Lumpini PArk. Bangkok Thailand 13/05/10
Beginning of the Battle of bangkok after the killing of Gen. Seh Deang in the red zone: Rama IV road, red shirts run while sporadic shooting is heard.Thailand
 Thai soldier in heated atmosphere, Silom Road Bangkok Thailand 21/04/10
I accompanied one medic, two photographers, one Thai soldier and one Red Shirt into the street from Ratchadamnoen Avenue, where the worst battle between the army and Red Shirts protesters had taken place. Someone brought a stretcher to carry a second inju
A thai soldier is being taken away by medics and red shirts protestors in an adjacent street of Ratchadamnoen avenue, near Democracy monument, Bangkok Thailand 10th of april 2010.
Thai women run on Rama IV road while atmosphere between red shirts and anti red shirts is heating up in Silom Road, © AGNES DHERBEYS BANGKOK THAILAND
Thai Red Shirts protests around Democracy monument during funeral rites, carrying the photos of those killed the day before, Bangkok Thailand 11th of April 2010
General Khattiya Sawasdipol Aka Seh Daeng during his patrol in the red shirt zone. Before dawn he visits the area checkpoints and briefs his security men, Bangkok, Thailand 10/05/10
RedShirts Protestors push their way into the road that leads to ThaiCom in Pathumthani 09/04/10
Red Shirts push the Army to enter the ThaiCom compound in PathumThani, Thailand
Thai Red shirts Protestors rallied all around the city from morning. Several rallies looped around town, while some converged or stopped eventually at PM Abhisit house on Sukhumvit, Bangkok Thailand
Doctor Weng one of the Red Leaders speaks to his crowd in Rajpasong intersection, occupied by the reds for over a month now, Center of Bangkok Thailand
Thai troops on silom Road, near the no color shirts protestors, Bangkok Thailand
RED SHIRTS barricades. After few nights of clashes between no color-multi color against the reds shirts, the night of the 23rd of april was quieter, with red leaders proposing a dissolution in a month, the first step toward negociations Bangkok Thailand
Thai Troops outside of Lumpini park where shootings occur, Wittayu road, Bangkok Thailand
Thai Army troops aim at Red Shirts protestors on the other side of Rama IV road, Bangkok Thailand
Thai Red Shirt protestors through tires-barricades on Rama IV near Klong Toei area, Bangkok Thailand
REd Shirts barricades on Soi Nang Duplee, corner of Rama IV road. For 3 days, clashes became increasingly intense at this spot in the center of Bangkok thailand,
Cocktails Molotov and slingshots were the main weapons red shirts protestors used against Thai troops on the corner of Rama IV road and Nang Duplee street (accusations of heavier weapons have by Thai authorities have to be investigated and confirmed) in t
A red shirts runs to bring water and goods to the front line protestors 30 meters down the road, on Din Daeng Bangkok Thailand
Red shirts protestors runs out of the front line against Thai troops on the corner of Rama IV road and Nang Duplee street Bangkok thailand,
Thai medic teams pull out a red shirt protestor injured during clashes with Thai Army on Nang Duplee street, corner of Rama IV road, Bangkok Thailand
Battle of Bangkok : A man Red Shirt protestor, just shot on Rama IV road, Bangkok Thailand
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