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Thailand: Foreigner who stayed in the airport blockade

Majority of foreigners stayed away from Bangkok airports when protesters used the facilities to stage their “final battle” against the “corrupt government” two weeks ago. But there was a foreigner who stayed inside the airport blockade.

Janus Putkonen from Finland joined members of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) for five days and nights. He slept and ate in the airport protest center. He witnessed 5 shootings and 3 grenade attacks. He was able to observe the daily activities of the protesters. Fortunately he had a video camera. Now he shares to the world what he had witnessed inside the blockade.

Last November 26, PAD occupied Bangkok’s two major airports to force the resignation of the country’s top leaders. They achieved their goal last week when Thailand’s top court ordered the dissolution of the ruling party which was found guilty of electoral fraud.

Janus narrates how he got to the airport:

“In 23.30 same evening I read from Bangkok Post that there were shootings in Suvarnabhumi (Airport), at 0.00 I made my decision, woke up my wife, and gear up my things. I live in middle Thailand, but that was no excuse (for) me not to drive my truck to Bangkok fast as I could, following a loud voice from my heart… I was there at 03.00 in the night. (The) only foreigner in protest barricades that first night at Suvarnabhumi.”

Janus was impressed by efficiency of the protesters who responded well after a grenade attack inside the airport.

Janus captured the counter-attack of PAD against the police forces who were trying to disperse the airport protesters. The police retreated.

What did Janus learn from Bangkok protesters:

“To win demonstrations, there is nothing to do with anarchy in those, but discipline and orders, tight plans and hierarchy. Those great Thai peoples from PAD just (taught) me a great lesson how to win political ground with huge demonstrators… Attack is always the best defense, also in demonstrations.”

6 comments

  • […] POST – Neo-Prohibitionism: Anti-Alcohol Rules That Drive You to Drink GLOBAL VOICES – The Farang Who Joined the PAD’s Airport Blockade AFP – Suspected Protester’s Body Found @ Bangkok Airport SUTHICHAI YOON BLOG – Kingmaker […]

  • Cool that he stayed and recorded. Strange choice of music for the video…

  • Rix

    Though I take no side in the Thai turmoil, the simple fact is that PAD’s occupation of the airport had nothing to do with the court ruling that ended things. It would have come down then regardless of their airport shennanigans. The simple fact is that they hurt the Thai nation and people seriously. The PM and party did not fall because of the airport capture, it fell in spite of it. The Thai people will be paying the price for these acts for many years.

  • […] feature on Global Voices, trying to get a sense for when citizen video works well. We’ve got a story today about a Finnish expatriate who lives in Thailand, who joined the People’s Alliance for […]

  • […] POST – Neo-Prohibitionism: Anti-Alcohol Rules That Drive You to Drink GLOBAL VOICES – The Farang Who Joined the PAD’s Airport Blockade AFP – Suspected Protester’s Body Found @ Bangkok Airport SUTHICHAI YOON BLOG – Kingmaker […]

  • […] the airport and camp out with the PAD. He video taped a bunch of what he saw which you can see here. So last week when the PAD made it clear that they in fact were quite comfortable in the airport, […]

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