“Occupy Bangkok,” an ongoing protest that reached a critical mass in January 2014, seeks to oust the regime of billionaire tyrant Thaksin Shinawatra, who has served Western interests at great cost to the Thai people. Protesters demand the complete removal of Shianwatra’s corrupt administration before elections are held. Occupy Bangkok has been successful in building coalitions between and gaining support from unions, students, farmers, workers, and business owners.
Further, many influential institutions support the protests, including media, the military, large political parties, and indigenous NGOs. The regime has been unsuccessful in using police forces against protesters for fear of inciting the military. It has also been unable to financially test the protest movement because large and diverse interests back them through various innovative means. The leadership cannot drown out the protestors’ free speech since they control large media platforms within Thailand, and alternative voices beyond, capable of articulating their message.
Recent elections overseen by the regime collapsed in humiliation with less than half of the nation even voting. Many of those who did mutilated their ballots or checked “no vote” to express their dissent. The protests may bring about the overall demise of Thaksin Shinawatra’s regime.
Sources: “Thailand: Occupy Bangkok Begins,” Alternative Thai News Network, January 13, 2014, http://altthainews.blogspot.com/2014/01/thailand-occupy-bangkok-begins.html.
Tony Cartalucci, “Why Occupy Bangkok is Working and Occupy Wall Street Didn’t,” New Eastern Outlook, February 16, 2014, http://journal-neo.org/2014/02/16/why-occupy-bangkok-is-working-and-occupy-wall-street-didn-t/.
Student Researcher: Kendrick Harper (Florida Atlantic University)
Faculty Evaluator: James F. Tracy (Florida Atlantic University)