Sunday, May 19, 2013

Three Years Ago Today

A crowd of Red Shirts march down Rama I Road to Ratchaprasong Intersection during a Red Shirt rally in Bangkok Sunday

May 19, 2010 is seared into the minds of many Thais. It was the day the Thai Army finally crushed the Red Shirts protests that had gridlocked much of Bangkok. I was here then and blogging about my experiences. And for a long, bloody, week snipers firing from hidden positions killed Red Shirts and civilians alike in what was the lead up to a massive show of force when hundreds of soldiers attacked Red Shirt positions in the center of the city. In the end, more than 85 people were killed. Most of them were Thais. Red Shirts were killed but so were unarmed civilian medics trying to help people trapped in a temple, foreign journalists were killed, people who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time were killed. Several soldiers, about six or seven were also killed. 

The finger pointing continues and then Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva (he lost a bid for reelection 13 months later in 2011) now faces possible prosecution for his role in the crackdown. But no one has yet been brought to justice and feelings are as raw today as they were on May 19, 2010. 

Now May 19 is a Red Shirt day of remembrance. Tens of thousands of Red Shirts descend on Ratchaprasong to express their unhappiness at the slow pace of the investigation and remember their collegeagues. 

There are lots of photos of the Red Shirts' protests, including the bloody crackdown, in my archive

Finally, most of the photos in my archive are available for editorial use or self fulfillment as prints. If you see something you'd like to use or just hang on the wall, click on the "Add to Cart" button and follow the onscreen prompts.