6 injured by gunshot wounds in latest Bangkok protests
Things are getting uglier. When this all began I knew it was going to escalate once the government stepped in and made a massive police presence part of what was a large but still non-destructive protest that was taking place at various places around Bangkok and other parts of the country.
When the government decided that all public gatherings were now illegal I knew that the protests were going to grow even larger... and they did. At that point I knew that the police were going to start using measures to disperse the crowds and that the crowds were going to respond in turn... and they did.
It started with water cannons and pushbacks of massive police lines complete with riot gear and the crowds got even bigger. The government attempts to use force to disperse the mostly youthful crowds from protesting has backfired and now shots have been fired.
6 people have been shot by an unidentified gunman who as far as anyone can determine, was simply firing at random without even having much selection in his targets (I suppose it could be a "her" but the police forces isn't really like that here.)
A high ranking police official made the following claim during and interview
" no rubber or live bullets were used by authorities during yesterday’s police operations,”
So if this person is telling the truth, where did the shots come from? Guns are not terribly difficult to acquire on the black market in Thailand but it's not like there are gun stores all over the place: This isn't Texas.
However, even the threat of being shot and potentially killed has not quelled this movement for massive changes to the governance and the monarchy of the Kingdom of Thailand. The day after 6 people were shot (none died by the way, at least not yet) the amount of people protesting appears to have GROWN in number
One thing that has changed about the layout of these protests is something that should be considered a bit alarming and also dangerous: The protesters are starting to turn up to these things with weapons. Previously they had just been turning up with their voices, a stage, and a ton of smartphones.
The government attempts to silence this voice, in my opinion, is the reason why it has escalated.
Personally I don't believe that a duly elected government should step down every time that enough people get in the street and start shouting but Bangkok in particular is reaching a boiling point and it makes me kind of happy that I don't live there. Up here in Chiang Mai we have not reached anywhere near this level of participation in the protests and the few that are here and there seem a little bit silly to me because the government offices that the people are protesting outside of aren't actually the offices of any of the people that the masses are protesting over.
I guess they just want their voices to be heard and lack the money / time to travel.
Either way, I don't see this ending peacefully and at some point the government and royalists (the colloquial name for the people that have total dedication to the Royal Family) are going to have to give some ground to this ever-growing number of people in the streets that are demanding action.
Personally, I don't think that they should give into all of their demands, and it would really help an awful lot of the King would intervene in some capacity but as the possibility of mass violence starts to look more and more like an inevitable conclusion, I am extremely glad that I don't live down there.