[It was a rare moment in people’s movements, some 16 months ago, and we just came across it and wanted to share it, with words of caution: this was not a movement aimed at revolutionary overthrow of the Thai monarchy, or a severance of relations with capitalists or imperialism everywhere. It was a militant struggle against corruption and abuse, over local grievances, perceived inequalities, and many collective frustrations. The videos above show the intensity of the struggle when protesters confronted the police. And the picture below shows how remarkable this peaceful protest was, briefly, when the police took off their helmets and dropped their shields in a show of solidarity. But we urge our readers in the US and internationally: don’t expect the police to act like this, anywhere, ever, again. If the instruments of state power ever defect to the people’s side, it will rarely be all at once, and never all together, even for a brief moment. — Frontlines ed.]
December 6, 2013
In a showing of solidarity, police stood aside and allowed protesters to continue on.
Those who had rallied to protest explained that their goal was to confront and overcome the political apparatus of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Shinawatra is accused of widespread corruption and abuse of power, leaving him with few sympathizers among the police.
Thaksin’s sister, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, is in power now, but the people see her as nothing more than a mouth piece for her brother.
Suthep Thaugsuban is the leader of the protests that are sweeping Thailand. He told his supporters to storm the Bangkok Metropolitan Police Bureau and demand change.
In light of this move to take over the police building, in their plan to topple the Shinawatra government, the action of the police has surprised many.
With all of that said, this should not imply that the replacements the protestors have in mind are ideal. But the public statement of solidarity made by the police is inspiring nevertheless.