Protesters see long-drawn-out battle ahead

national February 03, 2014 00:00

By Pravit Rojanaphruk
The Nation

They're definitely not going home despite the fact that the election went ahead, uninterrupted at nearly 90 per cent of the polling stations.

However, the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) protesters acknowledged that it is now unclear as to how they can achieve victory. Many now believe that the battle will be a long drawn-out one.
“There seems to be no end,” said Pitchayanand Piangchan, 40, a businesswoman from Prachin Buri who came every weekend to join the PDRC rally for weeks now with her husband. 
Pitchayanand, who joined the rally at the Pathumwan intersection, hopes things will be over soon but is vague as to how that will happen.
Thicha na Nakorn, a prominent feminist and PDRC supporter, was at the Asoke intersection rally. 
“It will be a long [fight]. This battle could drag on,” she said. “Perhaps there should be a respectable mediator. This is the best solution,” she said.
Dubbed “picnic day” for protesters who refused to vote, the mood at the Pathumwan intersection was calm. People queued up for free ice cream but the longest line had more than 200 people waiting to buy Bt300 special T-shirts with Suthep Thaugsuban’s face on it. The proceeds go to the PDRC. 
If that’s not assuring enough, there’re also PDRC amulets. At Bt300, one can own a King Naresuan copper coin specifically minted for the protest movement. The King is revered for his role in regaining Siamese sovereignty from the Burmese invaders. One of the most popular attractions was near the Ratchaprasong intersection. It wasn’t a booth selling food, T-shirt or amulets, but literally one selling political hatred.
At Bt50, with the proceeds going to PDRC secretary-general Suthep, one gets four tennis balls and the chance to throw them at big tin cans with the faces of Thaksin and Yingluck Shinawatra and their “minions” on them. 
When the voting was over at 3pm, the crowd was oblivious as they took “pleasure” in throwing the balls at the faces of the caretaker and former premiers, or at least the pictures of their faces.

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