- by Frank, Thai Intel’s political journalist
But are things changing?
Only about 6 months after the civil war-the Thai stock market has passed the 1,000 points and the economy is growing strongly-as most Thais recognized it has little to do with the government.
What has not changed however, is that the Red Shirts have not died off.
“A sea of Re Shirts,” one newspaper wrote of a recent Red Shirts get together.
The signal to the middle class is clear-the Red Shirts are here to stay.
Against that, the Abhisit junta is stumbling and struggling.
The Abhisit junta is infested with ineffectual management, massive corruption, massive cronyism, and massive double standard-that all have become the norm-and increasingly, the propagating media can not hide those facts.
To the middle class, this is truly the time for the age of “Diminishing Expectation” from the government.
As an example, the flood situation, has turned a TV reporter into the hero-and Abhisit, into the shadows.
It resembles the highly popular 2006 coup that turned soured because of the failure to manage the country-even with absolute power.
This time, apart from the failure to manage, is a re-surging Red Shirts-that have come against all odds.
All sort of tactics of maximum prejudices had been bought on against the Re Shirts-like most of its leaders jailed to painting them as terrorists.
But all of them had failed.
And at the crux of it all, the Red Shirts have been making “Symbolic” signals, in what Thailand’s only independent newspaper, Matichon calls, “A War of Symbols” to jolt the minds of the middle class.
Over more, to get the messages across, the Red Shirts are now organized through a “Star Fish” strategy of no leadership structure-turning each Red Shirts into “Activist.”
The result? Simply, middle class philosophy is being squeezed.
From the top down, units after units of the most credible and responsible, both Thai and global-have been coming out with statements that hits at the heart of the middle class philosophy-that the middle class philosphy is simply wrong.
From bottom up, the Red Shirts are spreading words of reasons and logic of their struggle.
Meanwhile, the words of the royalist elite rule of Thailand, from all its strongman-type leadership-is getting more and more un-reasonable, radical and sounding like the time when Thailand is ruled by open dictators.
And Abhisit, his words are now very much discounted as nothing. “Abhisit is playing the public relations wording games, but has no intention to solve Thailand’s problems,” increasingly is the commonly accepted fact.
But in the final analysis, it is the Red Shirts themselves that will be the decided factor.
Their activities, to the extent that the grassroots are now not very happy about, is that all the efforts of the Red Shirts now, are in targeting the middle class.
Weekend bicycle trips, short stop train trips, ballooning, car rally, walk rally, golf tournaments, tennis matches and a host of others-all are what a typical middle class does on any given week end-that the Red Shirts are doing.
The message is clear, “We, the Red Shirts, are just like any other Thais” minus the hypocrisy.
As a Japanese academic and long-time observer of Thailand said, “The royalist elite military rule of Thailand can not win because it is fighting against the people.”
- Q+A : Are Thailand’s “red shirts” regrouping? (reuters.com)
- Thai Red Shirts begin coup anniversary protests (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Thai official: Red Shirts plotted assassinations (ctv.ca)
- Thai official: Red Shirts plotted assassinations (foxnews.com)
- Thai “red shirts” rally to demand leaders be freed (reuters.com)
- “Update: red shirts gather here in Bangkok” and related posts (newley.com)
- Cambodia denies Thai assassination plot allegation (foxnews.com)
- Cambodia denies Thai assassination plot allegation (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Scenes from Thailand (boston.com)
- Thai political crisis fuels social media boom (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Thai anti-government activists begin protests to mark coup anniversary (foxnews.com)
- Thai “Red Shirts” Rally to Demand Leaders Be Freed (nytimes.com)
- Red shirts rally again in Thailand (bbc.co.uk)