Thursday, January 16, 2014

Bangkok Shutdown - Update

My travels today took me twice to an intersection that is one of the major protest sites.  The protestors have erected large video screens, a stage and have set up a myriad of small tents.  My first impression is that the Thai people have used this opportunity to set up an outdoor market.  There are literally hundreds of people who have set up spots to sell things.  Food, T-shirts, Trinkets (such as lanyards, whistles, clappers and other paraphenailia with the  Red, White and Blue colors of the Thai flag).  Things have been very peaceful as I understand it.

Looking East on Sukhumvit Road
I am standing on the BTS (Bangkok Transportations System) platform.  The BTS is and elevated mass transit train that has a station essentially at the intersection that is being blocked. One lane of traffic is being routed around the corner here. Note that the motorcyclists are squeezing into a lane that is not really a lane.

From the Terminal 21 Shopping Center balcony connected to the BTS platform,

I am looking down at the street.  The clear area below is the courtyard of the Terminal 21 mall being kept open by security guards  President and Sister Senior invited Lois and I to have dinner this evening with them at a Mexican restaurant in this mall.  The servers were from the Philippines.  the food was fairly authentic Mexican.  The protesters are kept on the sidewalk and on the street beneath the BTS station. BTS entrance is the stairway to the right.

Looking down on the street with all of the street vendors.

See how the street vendors have essentially just laid out a blanket and spread out their wares.  The green and black shirts to the right are Bangkok shutdown t-shirts.  The Red, white and blue in the lower left are whistles with a colored ribbon lanyard.  The protestors love to blow there whistles. Also note the tents set up, so the protestors can occupy the area overnight. The road here is divided due to the fact the columns that support the BTS run right down the middle of Sukhumvit road.

Screen set up on Street intersection of Asoke and Sukhumvit roads

This is one of the three screens I saw at the intersection.  These two ladies were talking about the current Prime Minister. I believe that they were at a different protest sight and they were being broadcast to this site.

Two large screens on Soi Asoke
  A little later out on Soi Asoke I saw these larger screens.  The crowd was not very large. I was back at this site later in the evening and more people were there.

Looking north on Soi Asoke 
Looking down the street you can see that the protestors have set up the very large canopy.  Under the canopy are dozens of little tents.  The entire area under the canopy has little tents set up.  As I understand it, the protestors are trying to stop the elections which are scheduled to happen on Feb 2nd. Looks like it will be a few more weeks of this at least. 

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