Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bangkok Protest Post 3 - The March

[Sunday, February 15, 2009 11am Thai Time]

So, everyone was finally gathered, the signs were ready, the truck with the microphone and speakers set, and around 9:30am the march started. It was a little less than a kilometer; from the National Assembly building to the Parliament.

In the video you'll see people carrying little flags. The red ones are farmers from the north. Green are from Isaan or Northeast. Bright green are from the South. The video gives you the best sense of the march. Below are some more pictures.

Now they are ready to move.

Here's the National Assembly building. If you look up National Assembly on Wikipedia, you can see why I was confused.

The National Assembly of Thailand or Parliament of Thailand (Thai: รัฐสภาไทย, Rathasaphathai) is the legislative branch of the government of Thailand. The National Assembly is a bicameral body, consisting of two chambers: the upper house or the Senate of Thailand and the lower house or the House of Representatives of Thailand. The Assembly was first convened in 1932 after the adoption of Thailand's first Constitution. The Assembly took its current form after the adoption of the 2007 Constitution of Thailand.The National Assembly currently meets at the Parliament House of Thailand, in Dusit, Bangkok, Thailand.

The Assembly meets in the Parliament. But this building, called the National Assembly building is really something different. This is part of

Dusit Palace Bangkok
  • Dusit Palace is the name of the compound of Royal residences constructed in European style and built between 1897 and 1901. These were originally called Dusit Garden by King Rama V and later Dusit Palace by King Rama V1.
One of the 16 palaces is the building in the background below - sometimes known as the National Assembly, the Throne Hall, and The Ananda Samakhom (Anantasamakom)

I found it amusing that the entrance to the Parliament is across the street from the entrance to the zoo.

All along the wall of the zoo, each section has a picture of an animal painted by Thai students. It was really kind of neat.

I had to keep myself as separated from the march itself as possible. I had my camera and was documenting it, but told people who offered me flags to carry that I wasn't allowed to do that. And I turned down one reporter's request to interview me. I was the only white face in the crowd and one of the few I saw all day, even there in Bangkok.

This is one of the protesters from the Bangkok slums. I met her at the meeting in Petchabun. She is very articulate with a great sense of humor.

And there were vendors - especially across the street along the wall of the zoo.
This cart is selling somtam (spicy papaya salad) and barbecued chicken, Northeast specialties.

It's about 34 Thai Baht to the dollar these days.

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