Mittwoch, 1. Januar 2014

The anti-government protest in Bangkok - a fascist movement?

Anti-government protester at Silom road.

Part one: The anti-government protest in Bangkok - a fascist movement?
Part two: The less valuable people - a picture series

Special thanks to Nicola, my wife, for editing and revising the English version of my blog. I couldn't do it without her! Read her in depth analysis on the current situation in Thailand: What-lies-ahead-for-Thailand-Reflections-on-the-deepening -political-crisis

Part 1:

Today I don't want to sum up the events of the last couple of weeks even so a lot has happened in Bangkok. This post will focus on the more and more fascist and racist behaviour of the anti-government movement led by Suthep Thaugsuban. At the moment there is a full discussion going on in Bangkok if this is still an ultra-conservative or already a fascist protest-movement. In my point of view many supporters and protest leaders showing a rapidly growing fascist tendency (or have been fascists all the time but were trying to hide it).  And please, don't confuse fascism with Adolf Hitler's National Socialism!
Since the last three weeks the statements and actions of the protest leaders and the protesters are getting more and more xenophobic, aggressive and intolerant towards any other opinion (they already assaulted journalists, policemen and everyone who dares to disagree with their views or methods). There is only one correct political view: their own. Everyone who disagrees with their methods or just has a different opinion is either stupid, uneducated or corrupt (and of course is on the paylist of their arch-enemy Thaksin Shinawatra). For them it is unthinkable that someone could disagree with their protest without being a supporter of Thaksin or the Pheu Thai Party. 
Below you will find the four main reasons why I think this protest movement that once started as a protest against an amnesty bill has become a fascist and anti-democratic movement. 

Human Equality:

Supporters and core leaders of the PDRC publicly declared that in their opinion humans are not equal. They strongly believe that there is a (natural?) hierarchy in Thailands society and therefor there are better/superior people and Untermenschen (subhumans) – or in their words: more valuable humans and less valuable humans. One could call this racism against their own people, which is particularly directed against the people from the north-eastern and eastern provinces of Thailand. Especially these people are seen as inferior and stupid. The conservative middle and upper class Bangkokians also despise them for their darker skin.
The academic Dr. Seri Wongmontha stated: "300,000 votes in Bangkok are votes of quality and are better than 15,000,000 votes in the provinces which lack quality." In his opinion the worth of a human being and how humane one is depends on the level of education (ขออีกรอบ กะอี ด๊อกเตอร์ นี่ "อย่าดูถูก เสียงคนต่างจังหวัด ทุกคน มี 1 สิทธิ 1 เสียงเท่ากัน เปนคนเท่ากัน กี้ ขี้ ปี้ นอน เหมือนๆกัน อย่าดูถูก คนอื่น จนลืมความเป็น มนุษย์ ของเขา และ ความเป็นมนุษย์ ในตัวคุณเอง เพราะ คุณค่าของมนุษย์ มันวัดกัน ที่ใบปริญญา หรือ สาขาวิชา ที่เรียน ไม่ได้เลย....(มันวัดที่จิตใจ)"). 

This means for uneducated (= stupid) people: they are more like animals than human beings or in other words: subhumans.

Mrs. Chitpas Bhirombhakdi declared that the rural Thais are too stupid and uneducated to have the right to vote (at least for now). Therefor Thailand can't have any free democratic elections until the election process has been reformed and the people have the (one and only) true understanding of democracy. Those statements angered (maybe for business reasons only?) even members of her own family and they asked Chitpas to change her surname if she wants to continue with her political campaign.

Chitpas Bhirombhakdi is the daughter of Chutinant Bhirombhakdi, executive vice-president of Singha Corporation. He is the cousin of the families and companies patriarch Santhi Bhirombhakdi. In public she is regarded as the heiress of the beer brewery.

Interestingly the weight of one's vote should depend on their level of education, their income and the amount of paid income taxes (that's no joke!). This is one main argument which is repeated again and again especially by the midlle-class protesters: They (the poor people) don't pay taxes so these people should be deprived of their right to vote and their right to decide who rules the country.

See below an ironical draft by David Streckfuss of a reformed voting system for Thailand (sadly, it is very close to recent suggestions and proposals by anti-government protesters).

[A warning by the author David Streckfuss: 
This fictional account is based on real events going on in Bangkok] 

In terms of taxes: More than 60% of all Thais don't pay income taxes. But why? Maybe because most of the wages in Thailand are so low that the income of many workers and employees is below the bottom line of any tax bracket. 
Besides, the poor people pay taxes, too. Of course no income tax but all the other taxes and fees just as much as the wealthy Bangkokian middle-class, e.g. value added tax or gas tax. Therefor they earned the right to vote just the same as anyone else!

Regarding the topic of education: the graduation or university degree tells nothing about one's intelligence or stupidity.

Here's a little story I experienced in a little Muslim village at the Andaman coast after the tsunami in 2004:
My wife, who reported on the aftermath of the tsunami, and I were invited by the Phuket Rotary Club in spring 2005 to visit a little fishing village at the Andaman coast to observe the rebuilding progress. When we arrived the reconstruction had only just started and only the supporting framework of the houses was finished. Back in Germany I myself had worked for years as an expert in construction engineering and therefor I recognized immediately two different types of construction. The first type of framework was as good as perfect and couldn't be done better, and the second one was so badly erected it would later endanger the life's of the residents.
The supporting framework of the first house was build and monitored by an old man, the village's shipbuilder. He told us that he learned his craftsmanship from his father and grandfather and he admitted, that he never visited a school and that he barely could read and write. Nevertheless his wooden construction was the finest and best framework I saw in Thailand in eleven years.
The construction of the second house was planned and monitored by a young woman, a graduated architect from Bangkok. She had absolutely no idea what she was doing. In fact, her framework was so poorly planned and built that the president of the Rotary Club promised us to tear down the flawed supporting framework immediately and to rebuild it correctly. He also told us that on the next day he would dispatch two of his own engineers to supervise the rebuilding progress.
Despite his lack of school education the old shipbuilder showed a deep understanding of the material behaviour and statics and one has to be very intelligent to reach this level of craftsmanship - unlike the highly educated architect from Bangkok.

One of the newly build houses at....

??? - so much for education and decency!

Media freedom and freedom of speech:

There's only truth - our truth!

People who dare to disagree or share a different point of view are getting insulted, intimidated and/or beaten up such as a taxi driver who was beaten unconscious by a right wing mob at Vibhavadi Rangsit Road in Bangkok because he complained about their methods.

Representatives of Thai media were intimidated, some even physically attacked when they dared to criticise the PDRC (People's Democratic Reform Committee) or the NSPRT (Network of Students and People for Reform of Thailand) or just voiced their own impressions and opinions of/on the protest. Even the guessing of the number of protesters joining an event has become a dangerous business for journalists.
The English language newspaper The Nation wrote:
The reason behind the most recent attacks on female journalists was that the reporters were suspected of incorrectly reporting the crowd size, and that was seen as being unfair to the protesters.

When the American ambassador Kristie Kenny declared that she supports elections, the NSPRT threatened to seize the American embassy.
On December 12th NSPRT leader Nititorn Lamlua told the crowd at the monument of democracy:
and the US. Listen the US Embassy. As a lawyer, I know well that if I enter your area then your law is used; it is your territory. But if you discriminate against Thais and Thailand. You say that the people today are not democratic [and] why not have an election,...

Later they demanded that ambassador Kristie Kenny has to be replaced and should leave the country - otherwise...


In December 2013 a Thai by the name of Pathonpong Charoenwut posted the following message on Facebook (which got an overwhelmingly positive reaction by a large number of readers and which is representative for many protesters). The Thai version posted along with the delicious English version was in fact more vulgar, with foreigners referred to with a pronoun normally reserved for animals - bang tua. Pathonpong was fed up:

"Dear some ex-pats living in the KINGDOM of Thailand:"
"Please rethink before posting all complaints like you're so upset of the traffic cause by the mob or you are so bored of this country. Just to be clear, nobody asks you to stay, nobody needs you here, without you we're fine or even better. It's you who ran away from problems, unemployment and losses…"
"Please be respectful and careful before you post some comments that show the flaws in you that remind both yourself and us that once you were LOSERS. And sadly but unsurprisingly, you still are."

"Unfriend me as you like because I don't need you!!"

"Fed up with red-shirt farangs," he added in the comment section after a long debate. "Been fed up for a long long time. Go and die… I'm not threatening anyone."

Foreign journalists who don't “support” the PDRC's cause are insulted as being biased, being too stupid to understand Thailand or being corrupt and paid by Thaksin. Those journalists were told by protesters to shut up and to leave the country.

Furthermore I have to mention the overexaggerated nationalistic behaviour and the PDRC's toying with national symbols, when they called on their followers to show their support for the protest by wearing or carrying national symbols and singing the royal and the national anthem during protests. Their credo: FOR MONARCHY, RELIGION and COUNTRY.

Are they willing to respect international standards or rights? Not with us, they say, we are Thais, we are unique and we are above international laws or agreements!

ICJ = International Court of Justice


The movement uses more and more intimidating measures and violence to enforce their demands on the rest of the country. They also use force and violent measures to prevent political parties from registering for the snap elections. They don't "permit" elections as long as their demands for reform are not met. To step up the pressure they also use attempts of intimidation against other family members of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. In Germany we call this "Sippenhaft" (kin liability). Suthep insists that they protest peacefully and therefor this is a non-violent action, but, of course, psychological terror and intimadation are violent methods.
The Bankok Post wrote:
Rally leader Suthep Thaugsuban on Tuesday night announced that Shinawatra family members would become the next targets of the anti-government protesters...In his speech to the protesters, Mr Suthep said since Ms Yingluck had ignored the PDRC's "order", the committee had therefore issued an "additional order" that protesters demonstrate peacefully against Shinawatra family members and cabinet members.

The following pictures are showing people who are in the eyes of many protesters unworthy of voting, having their own opinions or being too stupid to make their own decisions. In their opinion these people are born to obey without questioning and to work without complaining.

when you are poor - you must eat salt
too rag and dark - no one want to look at you
eating rice with water - dropping from your eyes
Good luck - thank you everyone

The homeless artist

The so-called poor, stupid and uneducated

04.15 am at Sukhumvit

Not fully human anymore

"Why do you want to talk to her? She's a cripple - not fully human anymore!" - we were asked by our translator in 2011 at Rajamangala Stadium, flood evacuation centre.

She's not fully human anymore!

He is blind and doesn't even pay taxes.

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