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Monday, December 2, 2013

Eyes in the Skies—Drone Journalism and the Bangkok Protests

Posted by on Mon, Dec 2, 2013 at 9:37 AM

Three or four are reported dead in the ongoing Bangkok protests (most places are publishing four, but a few are publishing three) and over the weekend crowds forced prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra to flee from a police compound where she was going to give a television address.

Crowds of pro-Shinawatra Red Shirts from the countryside showed up by the busload, presumably to hassle the anti-Shinawatra urban protesters, but didn't stick around long:

On Saturday, around 70,000 Red Shirts, who had gathered near Bangkok’s Rajamangala National Stadium to show support for the current administration, clashed with students, mainly antigovernment Yellow Shirts, emerging from neighboring Ramkhamhaeng University. About 8 p.m. local time, one person was killed when a shot was fired into the campus. Red Shirts had emerged from the stadium to support their comrades after several people were pulled from cars and beaten on the belief that they were Thaksin [Shinawatra] supporters.

Fighting continued in the surrounding area into the night, and by morning busloads of Red Shirt supporters were leaving the capital after leaders said their safety could not be guaranteed. “With the main group being sent home, hopefully we won’t see that conflict between these two mass movements,” says Robertson. “But there’s always a worry of agent provocateurs from one side or another trying to cause problems.”

The protesters' actions are dramatic and, some say, suggest the tacit support of the military, which has been very restrained in the past few days. Their demands are equally dramatic and, I'm guessing, not going to impress democratically elected world leaders:

But protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban, who met Yingluck on Sunday night, has said he won't be satisfied with her resignation or new elections. Instead, he wants an unelected "people's council" to pick a new prime minister.

"I don't know how we can proceed" with that, she said. "We don't know how to make it happen. Right now we don't see any way to resolve the problem under the constitution," she said in the brief 12-minute news conference.

Meanwhile, the street battles are giving reporters in Thailand an excuse to try out new "drone journalism":

Insert obligatory Amazon/Bezos reference here.


Comments (3) RSS

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dnt trust me 1
Protesters or not, I found my vacation in Bangkok to be extremely chaotic. The highly proud and critical writers of The Stranger would have a field day in voicing their better methods for how a city needs to operate.
Posted by dnt trust me on December 2, 2013 at 10:05 AM · Report this
Obligatory Amazon/Bezos reference inserted:…
Posted by sgt_doom on December 2, 2013 at 12:09 PM · Report this
On a more serious note, the politics of Thailand are perhaps the most sophisticated and complex on the planet, as are the politics of Japan and the U.K., probably not coincidentally because they have multiple layers between the people and the oligarchs: layer 1, their royal families, layer 2, the political groups, and layer 3, various lower level groups which answer to the top two.

Posted by sgt_doom on December 2, 2013 at 12:12 PM · Report this

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