Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Red Shirt rally in Chiang Mai

This live-blog report is interesting to me because it shows that the political division within Thai society remains strong. Thailand's northern-based, mainly rural, Red Shirt faction (UDD) have not given up. In fact, their resolve may be as strong as ever.

Hobby Nganadeeleg, Undefeated, (text, 12 photos)
Many had made the trip from the villages and had set up tents outside the stadium to stay over for the night.    I'm hopeless at estimating crowds, so all I could say is that there were several thousand there (definitely more than 8,000 but less than 20,000 IMO - the ground area of the stadium and the grandstand seating areas were 2/3 to 3/4 full in my estimation).  There were also several hundred people outside the stadium area where there were the usual food and red merchandise stalls.

The crowd numbers were even more respectable when you consider it was NOT a free event - the cost of a ticket to enter inside the stadium was 100 baht [US $3.00], which included a red t-shirt with Thaksin image, and a red glow stick....

On the way out, I noticed that the stall with the biggest line up was the sign-up area for new Reds members - this red movement is not going away, and I sincerely hope that, if Thaksin ever does return to power, he has enough humility and good sense, to repay the love and faith that has been invested in him.
UPDATE:
Hobby posted his own analysis of recent developments in Thailand on Jan 29, 2010.

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