08 May 2010

A Night of Death, Part 1

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This time, I was in the general area of some of the protest-related killing as it happened.
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Friday night, 7 May 2010, 10:45pm – a drive-by shooting from a motorcycle into a crowd of anti-Reds and policemen. One cop died from wounds. At that time I was 400 meters away enjoying the music of Peter Driscoll at Nomad’s Pub. We never heard it or knew about the shooting at the time, and I only heard about it the next morning.
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After seeing an afternoon movie in another part of town, I took the Skytrain to the Sala Daeng station – the station that was blasted by 5 M79 grenades on 22 April with one fatality. This is the financial district as well as a famous/infamous entertainment area, and the police and Army have stood their ground preventing the Reds from taking it over. The Reds are massed and encamped on the other side of the major Rama IV Road at Lumpini Park, just within M79 range of the Skytrain station. It is the flashpoint of the Troubles now.
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I got off the Skytrain at Sala Daeng about 8:15pm and immediately noticed the armed camp atmosphere. A fully-armed and fully-geared soldier stood there facing me as I disembarked. On the street-level of Silom Road, there was a heavy presence of police and soldiers. As I walked to Soi 4 and Nomad’s, pimps were still in business offering me either boys or girls as I passed. (Some industries never close for hell or high water.) Turning down Soi 4, it is a noisy party atmosphere spilling out from the bars into the narrow sidestreet as I headed to Nomad’s at the dead-end of the soi.
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The music from 8:30pm to 1am was excellent, and we were completely unaware of trouble 400 meters away.
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I left Nomad’s about 1am Saturday morning. The police and Army presence on Silom Road was even thicker, but I still didn’t realize what had happened earlier. The Skytrain was of course closed, but I tried to go up the stairs to a pedestrian cross-over so as to get on the other side of the street to get a good taxi connection, but soldiers stopped me and made me turn around. They were holding the high ground. I crossed the street elsewhere through stalled traffic and got a taxi to take me home in a direction away from the Reds’ stronghold.
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At about 1:30am, while I was en route home, some grenade explosions occurred a bit farther north from Sala Daeng and across the Rama IV Road at police checkpoints around Lumpini Park. One cop died there and many were wounded.
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Just when we thought there would be a peace deal completed. Well, TIT (This Is Thailand).
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-Zenwind.
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