Well, I returned to Bangkok after 13 days in the north and the protest area had changed considerably. I didn’t think the red shirts would have the wear-withal to stay much longer than a week because of the fact that they have to travel long distances to get to Bangkok without homes to return to to rest. Though there were much fewer people, the protest is still continuing with words of another mass protest coming this weekend. I’m sure the Palace, army, and the Bangkok bourgeoisie are surprised.
What I noticed right away as I rode down on my bike was that the protest area, at least the Dusit Palace district areas, had been appropriated by businesses trying to make a buck. I remain suspicious about the source of these kiosks as they are all built the same way and have a variety of curious products they are selling.
I was also surprised at the level of political sophistication of the many of the red shirt people I met both up north in Chiang Rai and at the protest in Bangkok. Many of them had been aware of English language reporting on the net.
Check out the gallery for pictures.