The content in this page ("Anarchy in Klongtoey" by Pravit Rojanaphruk, The Nation) is not produced by Prachatai staff. Prachatai merely provides a platform, and the opinions stated here do not necessarily reflect those of Prachatai.

Anarchy in Klongtoey

At 1.20pm, upon being told that red-shirt leaders at Rajprasong Intersection have decided to turn themselves to the police "in orderto save lives", those red shirts who gathered at Klong Toey delta became very upset at the young messenger on stage.

"If you won't fight then get out!" a protester shouts at the man."We won't give up easily and if the leaders won't fight then we shall fight by ourselves. Anger burst out.

One doubted if the speaker was a real red shirt or not as they refuse to believe what they heard.

The young announcer was harassed and soon those running the stage at Klong Toey delta lostcontrol as some men began smashing shop window of CP Fresh Mart and K Bank which red shirts regarded as supporters of their political enemy.

Prateep Ungsongtham Hata, leader of the Klong Toey stage tried to calm the crowd down but to no avail.

As the rampage continued and buildings set on fire, Prateep abruptly announced that she and others would abandon the stage. "Thailand will never be the same again," predicts Anuthee Dejthevaporn, secretary general of the Student Federation of Thailand (SFT) which co-run the stage at Klongtoey.

Just before he abandonedthe stage, the tense and exhausted looking Anuthee added that red shirts will likely go underground to continue the fight.

By then anarchy had already engulfed Klong Toey delta. The crowd of a thousand strong began spreading out to vent their anger.

Some fired at the Stock Exchange of Thailand, others at the nearby Channel 3 television building which they loath. "It serves them well. They should have done it earlier at 5am," a hard-line red shirt woman who stood nearby told me.

She then rang someone on her mobile phone and said: "I agree now that peaceful means isn't the way," she said, adding that more attacks will soon follow.

She then hung up the phone and said she no longer wished to live inThailand: "No justice no peace," adding that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva "has no worries about those killed".

Nearby, Mortolov cocktails were being distributed and red-shirt motorcyclists headed out to seek targets.

Black smoke from nearby buildings engulfed the sky, lights went off and a new leader had emerged standing in front of the now abandoned stage.

"Go to Loxley Building!" the man shouted, claiming it's related to Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij.

By the evening, at least 15 were reported to have been killed with more than forty injured.

Curfew was declared in Bangkok and surrounding provinces from 8pm.

Twenty seven spots in Bangkok alone were set on fire, including the mega shopping mall complex of Central World which was near collapse.

A phone rang later in the evening. A legal expert who asked not to be named told me he's worried about tonight as no journalists will witness possible government abuse of power.

"I'm now more worried about their life. If they were to be killed I hope they are not automatically branded as terrorists. We need to understand them. They have been disappointed [by the coup which ousted Thaksin Shinawatra]and now they're being forced to go underground. We will no longer have peace. Bangkok will be like the three southern-most provinces."

Source: 
<p>http://www.nationmultimedia.com/home/2010/05/20/politics/Anarchy-in-Klongtoey-30129831.html</p>

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