New Mandala on the Pitak Siam Rally
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New Mandala on the Pitak Siam Rally

In addition to BP’s blog post yesterday, Nick Nostitz has a guest post (with lots of photos as well) at New Mandala on the rally. His conclusion:

All together, I was happy and relieved that the level of violence on the day was not too bad. There was enough action to raise the adrenaline, but no serious violence, and no really bad injuries as far as I I could see. I thought that the police was very restrained in their response, and disciplined, and I could see that they must have improved their training over the past years. Also the violence from the side of the protesters was not as bad as I have seen in many of the incidents over recent years. While many accuse the police of overreacting with the teargas, I have a different view: I believe that teargas prevents more serious violence. It separates the opposing sides, and prevents baton charges by the police, which can lead to severe injuries for protesters, especially internal injuries such as ruptured organs, as I often saw in Germany when I was young and attended protests there.

BP: Have a read of the whole thing and, of course, have a look of the pictures.

Doctoral candidate Aim Sinpeng also has a guest post at New Mandala as well. Key excerpt:

But this rally is not about the Yingluck government, or the Red Shirts for that matter. Rather, it is an attempt of the former Yellow Shirt forces to recalibrate an identity and position in Thai society. The decline of the movement beginning in 2009, has led to the breakup of its leadership, nasty back-stabbing and significant loss of support. Since the coming to power of yet another Thaksin-aligned party, Pheua Thai, Yellow Shirt forces have continued their activities with mixed success through smaller-scale, albeit targeted, opposition be it via the constitutional court, the military or the privy council. Pitak Siam rallies in late 2012 exemplify a renewed effort to build opposition alliances across various groups and mimic the Yellow Shirt’s pre-coup success.

BP: Aim has some further comments which BP largely agrees with.