Shutdown Bangkok campaign stirs much comment, debate
January 04, 2014 00:00 By Kornchanok Raksaseri @AIM_NT
Like many times before, after Suthep Thaugsuban, the People's Democratic Reform Committee secretary-general, announced the next mass rally, social media users began campaigns to support their stances - support, oppose, or else, you could say.
On Suthep Thaugsuban’s Facebook page, the post on the appointment of January 13 as “Bangkok Shutdown day” drew over 12,000 comments, both for and against.
People who disagree with the mass rally started a campaign, “Turn on headlights against the crisis. Oppose Bangkok shutdown.”
On December 28, a page “Enough! Stop the protest that instigates conditions leading to violence” was set up by YaBasta Thailand group. The page posted pictures from the group’s rally and candle lighting activity at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre on December 27 and invited people to gather again yesterday. It also campaigned for people to “open up and go voting”.
Meanwhile, the Assembly for the Defence of Democracy has not reacted to Suthep’s announcement for a new mass rally. It continues to campaign for the people to go to vote on February 2.
On the other side, the “V for Thailand” Facebook page has told sup?porters to be careful while taking photos. It asked protesters to avoid taking photos of guards to protect them from being targets of attacks later. Meanwhile, they may take photos that can be used as evidence in legal cases.
V for Thailand asked protesters to support drones flown by the media.
Thai Tribune, meanwhile, said simply: “Shut down Bangkok. D-Day January 13 and stay on.”
WRN, a Thai language group on Facebook, said in a campaign pic: “Don’t think that it is still fine if one individual is missing, please think that we will win only if you join.”
Meanwhile, The Nation asked social media users if they agree or disagree with Suthep’s call to shut down Bangkok. Here are some answers we got:
On Facebook, Sutee Tuvirat: I am Ok
Buntana Chinta: Not so OK but I will join as it is my duty.
Pockka Pock: No K.
Siriporn Suparuchatakarn: OK, I will join.
Banyong Suwanpong: I’ll go (to cover the news)
On Twitter, @FelixQui: Shutting down Bangkok serves solely as deliberate economic terrorism of the Thai people, as was the PAD airport occupation.
@jeffrey_bangkok: bad idea to shut?down. there r others who will be inconvenient. very selfish & lawless.
@pin_floi: A necessary sacrifice to eradicate corruption, abuse of power, bribery, double standards, family mafia “Skype” government, etc. Fighting against corruption, abuse of power, and disrespect for the law is not anti-democratic. It is justice.
@Phuket1943: Obviously vehemently disagree. How can this be termed P Democratic RC. When has shutting down a capital been democratic.
@bigmacth: Even though im against amnesty bills...but I’m also against the shutdown. I believe there are other ways to express our political views ... not by this collateral damage ... not quick as instant noodle.
@KrisKoles: Why would any rational Thai citizen who loves the great capital city of Bangkok want to see it shut down & trashed...
@Pusaha It’s not OK. Some Bangkok residents depend on daily wage. Suthep is not responsible for their lives and has no rights to force them to sacrifice.
@gd_ab Not OK. But I won’t risk my life with the mob. I can sign my name (against the Bangkok Shutdown).
@RazgrizX: It’s not OK. But I won’t express (my opposition).
@toyubomm: Bangkok Shutdown, but my company is not shut down. We have to continue working.
Meanwhile, comments and debate on the Friends of The Nation page on Facebook has also been quite hot.