The weekend approaches and, in Bangkok, that means new confrontations between the forces of law and order and the anti-democracy mob. At the time of writing, PAD (ringleaders of the anti-democracy movement) are converging on government house which, depending on which report is believed, they intend to mount a demonstration or will storm the building to bring down the democratically-elected government by force. The police are put into the position of trying to maintain order in the face of enormous provocation by the anti-democracy mob and by the agents provocateurs who stage violent acts while helpfully wearing clothes that identify them as ‘pro-government supporters.’
All schools in the area have been closed for the day and the police are preparing for the worst. The mob threaten to throw the democratically-elected prime minister Samak Sundaravej out of office, presumably to replace them with some unelected dictator, since the mob has no interest in calling for new elections. The government has a difficult path to tread because during the recent disastrous military junta period, the deeply sinister ISOC mechanism was put in place which gives the military (and certain other persons acting behind the scenes) enormous power to declare a national emergency and take over completely. If the level of violence increases to some undefined level, elements within the army will (or might, anyway) declare martial law and take over the government again.
What motivates the PAD? Why would people prefer a military tyranny to the rule of law and democracy? There is a level of hatred against the current government and, in particular, ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra which is on an entirely irrational level. Otherwise reasonable people (academic Khun Thitinan from Thammasat University who writes a column for the Bangkok Post, for example) make endless rants about corruption and criminality supposedly committed by Khun Thaksin’s government – electorally, the most popular and successful government Thailand has ever seen by a wide margin. Khun Thitinan, in common with many others, has never presented any evidence for his beliefs and as the nonsense court cases brought against Khun Thaksin demonstrate, the secret powers directing the PAD are desperate for any kind of ‘evidence.’
The answer: class hatred.