Feels like the Tide is Turning
17.01.2014 - 17.01.2014
View Thailand 2014! on anthonyfalls's travel map.
Just a few hours ago I was writing how I felt on Tuesday, when I went down to the protest site that it had a carnival feel to it and was quite organized, today (Friday January 17, 2014) 5 days into the protest, was the first day of real violence. A grenade was thrown into the protesting crowd this morning and 36 people were injured. Talking among other tourists, despite the inconvenience with traffic snarls and businesses closing early, everyone I have talked to agrees with the protest and most had been down to one of the sites to watch it. Thailand citizens just want democracy and are extremely proud of the fact they had 160,000 (CRAZY!!) people in attendance and there was no violence. What made today's event surprising is that the incident occurred in the daytime near the tourist area. The Canadian consulate in Thailand was quick to send an email to Canadians in Thailand advising them of the situation and to avoid the protest areas, which happen to be 1 block away from my current hotel and 5 blocks in the other direction, there are 8 in total. I can actually here the one from 1 block away from my hotel room. I personally feel safe in Bangkok, I will be avoiding the protest areas from now on and tomorrow I fly out to Phuket, (which was always the plan) and there is no protests there. The only concern I have is the possibility of the protesters closing the airport, which would delay me getting back to Canada. Will be interesting to see what happens in the next few days, the government has as of now not intervened with the protesters, but with the recent violence it may not be able to continue to do this. If the Government intervenes I imagine it will get ugly.
The main road in downtown Bangkok closed for the protest on Monday, parts of the stretch are still closed today.