Thailand: Arson in Bangkok, protests spread to other provinces

Bangkok burning. Photo by BKKApologist

The anti-government Red Shirt camp in central Bangkok is already under military control but retreating protesters burned several buildings in the city. Protests also erupted in other provinces, particularly in Udon Thani, located northeast of Thailand. A curfew was imposed in the capital and in most parts of the country.

Below is a google map of the clashes between the Red Shirts and government soldiers

View Red crisis in Bangkok in a larger map

A timeline of events that took place in Bangkok in the past 24 hours via Bangkok Pundit, Reuters Live Blog, The Thai Report, and Prachatai. Eyewitness accounts of the chaos in Bangkok by Simon Roughneen, Nirmal Ghosh, and Saw Yan Naing who was able to enter the Red Shirt camp. Pictures of the “battles” in the city were uploaded by Thailand’s Troubles.

The Drop described this scene after the dispersal of the Red Shirt protest camp

The street is covered in filth, food everywhere fermenting in the hot sun. A small crowd hidden behind a wall stares at the tall building overlooking the soi, trying to spot snipers. The soi is completely opened in the front, no tires left. The building that at the corner with Rama IV, an office of Kasikorn Bank, has been completely burned, leaving an empty blackened shell with electric wire swinging from the light pole to the street.

Arson in Bangkok. Photo by Abhinew

Malls, banks, cinema houses, TV stations and the Stock Exchange in Bangkok were set ablaze by fleeing Red Shirt protesters. Parts of Bangkok were literally burning yesterday. Here is a video of a burning Central World Mall, one of the largest shopping centers in the country.

As protest crackdown ends in Bangkok, the situation in Udon Thani is quite different as Red Shirt supporters were able to seize control a government building. Life in Rural Thailand provides timely updates about the situation in the city. Pictures of the protest were uploaded by the Thai Report. Here is a video of a protest scene in front of a government building.

The Red Shirts have a strong base in northeast Thailand. Many of them are from rural communities who are supporters of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. But the Red Shirts today are no longer composed of loyal fans of Thaksin. They are also joined by groups and individuals who wanted to replace the “elitist” system of government of Thailand.

Udon protest. Photo by anonymost

The Red Shirts are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva whom they accuse of being illegitimate and undemocratic. They also want the Prime Minister to dissolve the parliament and call for new elections.

For the past two months, the Red Shirts mobilized thousands of their members to protest in the streets of Bangkok. Violence escalated about a week ago when the government ordered a blockade of the protest camps and later a crackdown against the protesters. The government blamed “terrorist-protesters” for the rising tension and violence in Bangkok.

Jotman compiles tweet reactions about yesterday’s events. Here are other reactions from Twitter

Bameecutie: MY CTW HAS GONE ! so does any of those buff gonna pay for this .. ? NO THEY WON'T ! And I heard they re still burning Siamsquare ..
PRA3WA_P: @toeytoeyy But not only bkk. They re burning tires in the middle of the freakin road near my house too. U gnna come up n visit the warzone
pippopunkie: A gold shop in my Soi is completely burned down … so that's where the burning smell came from yesterday .. :(
slmackley: RT @paisal_nt: Thai PBS: Fire is still burning at Siam Square, Big C Rajdamri, Bangkok Bank Saphan Luang as rioters still clashed with authorities
iBangkok: Just wondering where all the firefighters were i don't see much on thoses burning Central World videos..
dvanpelt: Two large plumes of smoke this morning at Din Daeng and Ratchaprasong. Smell of burning tires still hangs in the air.
nunid880517: There r ppl dying, there r many places still burning outside but I can't do nething to save and protect my beloved home ;(
tulpin: I can smell burning everywhere around this area dont know where its coming from


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