After the military-backed Abhisit government rejected a peace offering by pro-democracy Red Shirts, this unelected government is preparing for a military crackdown against civilians. Rather than hold democratic elections, they are prepared to cling to power with violence and blanket censorship of all forms of media.
- Mobile motorcycle troops carrying lethal weapons are driving around Bangkok intimidating people wearing red shirts on the streets.
- 30,000 troops are massing to use lethal force against civilian pro-democracy protesters in Bangkok.
- NGOs and “peace” groups continue to support the government stand and blame both sides for any violence. NGOs therefore believe that the people don’t have a right to demand democracy and that the government has a right to mobilize troops against them.
- Khon Kaen Red Shirts have stopped vanloads of police and taken their weapons. Police seem to have cooperated.
- Red motorcycle “cavalry” are setting up roadblocks on Outer Ring Road around Bangkok to stop troops.
- In Sakon Nakorn, northeast, Red Shirts have blocked a paramilitary border patrol police barracks.
- Red motorcycle “cavalry” have surrounded troops with weapons at Rungsit mint, just north of Bangkok.
- Thousands of Red Shirts in Udon, in the northeast, seized a police station and all the arms! Fighting for Democracy!
- Previously, the army and the government shot dead 20 civilians on 10th April in Bangkok. Abhisit and his government continue to lie about the events and claim that the Red Shirts are “terrorists.”
- Agent provocateurs have fired M79 grenades on two occasions, while the army and the government are openly backing fascist mobs who try to provoke the Red Shirts. These fascist mobs are PAD supporters wearing different colored shirts and claiming to be “people of Bangkok.” They have used bottles and slingshots against the Red Shirts. One soldier put a gun to a policeman’s head to stop the police from arresting fascists throwing bottles. The PAD want a mainly appointed parliament. They took over the international airports with the help of the army in 2008.
- The King is silent and waiting, as ever, to see which side wins. The Queen and Crown Prince have shown support for the army.
- Red eagle, Tanyawut Taweerotemakul, the latest lèse majesté prisoner and manager of UDD USA’s site, has been beaten up in prison.
Monday, 26th April
17:30 Bangkok Time: Riot police mass against Red Shirts barricades in Bangkok on 3 fronts. Red Shirts standing firm.
18:40 Bangkok Time: Calm at Rajprasong demo site. No pushing or movement against barricades.
Giles Ji Ungpakorn is a Thai socialist, currently in exile in the U.K. His latest book Thailand’s Crisis and the Fight for Democracy will be published in April 2010. See, also, “Thailand: Seeing through the Mist of Tear Gas” (MRZine, 16 April 2010).