Thailand Protests 2008

Thai protestsAnti-government protesters led by the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) have been conducting provocative street actions for several months demanding the removal of the elected government. They believe the current leadership is a proxy of ousted Thai leader Thaksin Shinawatra.

Last August thousands of protesters occupied Thailand's Government House. Protests continued until September; the group was able to disrupt the railway operations and the Phuket airport. Last October the police violently dispersed a protest action which generated public sympathy in favor of the protesters.

PAD has upped the ante this November. They vowed to push for a “Final Battle” campaign to remove the elected government. On November 24 they were able to surround the Parliament Building. The following day they took over a major airport in Bangkok. On Thursday they occupied Bangkok's second major airport paralyzing air travel in the country.

The Prime Minister won't resign. The military does not want to intervene; although the military chief has called for a new round of elections. There are persistent coup rumors.

The political crisis is far from resolved. The protesters want a new form of government. The ruling party has widespread rural support. It seems Thailand will continue to be besieged by divisive protest actions.

Please contact our South East Asia Editor, Mong Palatino if you have comments or links to share.

Global Voices coverage of the protest actions

Dec 31 – Thailand: Revenge of the reds
Dec 10 – Thailand: Foreigner who stayed in the airport blockade
Dec 10 – Thailand political crisis: Reactions from the region
Dec 3 – Thailand: Airports reopen but crisis not yet over
Dec 2 – Thailand: Airport crisis hurting ordinary persons
Dec 1 -Thailand: How will the airport chaos end?
Nov 29 – Sleepless and stranded in Thailand
Nov 28 – Thailand: Airport takeover and Twitter
Nov 28 – Thailand: Protesters occupy airports
Nov 25 – Thailand: Rallies and Twitter updates
Sep 16 – Thailand protests: Conflict of elites
Sep 3 – First day of State of Emergency in Bangkok
Sep 1 – Thailand: Protesters misunderstood by Western media?
Aug 30 – Thailand: People's coup or putsch?

Link posts

Dec 12 – Thailand: Flights cancelled because of ‘political conditions’
Dec 8 – Thailand: Mastermind behind the crisis
Dec 6 – Wife of ousted Thai leader returns to Bangkok
Dec 6 – Thailand: Why did they choose the airport?
Dec 6 – Thailand: Protesters honor their fallen comrades
Dec 5 – Thailand: Journalists caught in the crossfire
Dec 5 – Thailand: Complaint of stranded Filipinos
Dec 3 – Thailand: Going Home Finally
Dec 2 – Thailand: PAD to Stop Airport Blockade
Nov 30 – Thailand: Free Ride to PAD
Nov 26 – Thailand: Airport chaos and travel advisory
Nov 25 – Thailand: Protesters surround Parliament building
Nov 20 – Thailand: Blast inside protest site
Nov 4 – Thailand: Interview with opposition leader
Oct 7 – Thailand: Protesters clash with police
Sep 17 – Thailand's new Prime Minister
Sep 12 – Thailand: Samak out, but protests continue
Sep 11 – Thailand: Student protesters
Sep 8 – Thailand: New constitution to end crisis

Other resources

Wikipedia page on the People's Alliance for Democracy
Pro-PAD website
Bangkok Pundit coverage of the political crisis
BBC's Q&A: Bangkok Protests
Reuters: Q+A-Thailand's intractable political crisis
Reuters: What's in store for politically riven Thailand?
Thailand Tourism page for stranded passengers
Google Map of protest centers


Pictures from Pantip

Check also the photo gallery at The Manager, Boring Days and Falling Into You


YouTube user mlehm63 says:

I shot this video with my cell phone at 6:30 am on Wednesday, November 26 – this shows the area at Suvarnabuhmi, Thailand's main airport, that is normally used for drop offs for international departures. The airport was taken over by tens of thousands of protesters late in the afternoon the day before. I went to the airport at about 5 am and attempted to get out on an 8 am flight to Hong Kong but no luck. Shot this short video before leaving the terminal.

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