Happy birthday, Jay.
Tyler the Creator
Thailand’s Anti-Government Protests Turned Deadly This Weekend
After months of relatively peaceful demonstrations and a week of massive anti-government rallies, protests in Bangkok have turned violent. Though nobody in Thailand seems particularly surprised, it’s not clear yet just how explosive things will get. The atmosphere in the city and the fact there were similar scenes just five years ago doesn’t bode well for a country in which power is concentrated in the hands of a few but desired by many. Many middle-class Thais are desperate to sever ties with exiled former leader Thaksin Shinawatra, who retains support among the country’s poorer rural population and—his opponents would argue—still exerts influence over the current government, ostensibly led by his sister, Yingluck.
The clashes began yesterday outside Ramkhamhaeng University, where anti-government students were holding a protest a stone’s throw away from a huge rally of pro-government “red shirts.” Strangely, considering the obvious potential for confrontations, there were only a handful of police positioned along the road between the two groups. When the fighting started, the police did very little to stop it. The students first attacked an individual red shirt who was walking past, then later a city bus full of passengers—smashing the windows and terrifying the people inside, who could be seen pleading to their attackers to stop.