Red shirts rally in Bangkok ahead of Constitution Court ruling
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Red shirts rally in Bangkok ahead of Constitution Court ruling

There have been a number of protest held by the reds to support the government ever since the Democrats changed their strategy from simply trying to kill the Amnesty Bill to try to bring down the government. These protests have been been on the outskirts of Bangkok and in major cities in the North and the Northeast over the last 10 days with around 50,000 reds rallying a week or so ago. On the eve of the Constitution Court ruling (more on that soon), the reds are rallying again.

AFP with an earlier evening report (seems around 7 p.m. by the time the story went out):

Police said around 2,500 anti-government protesters rallied in Bangkok while an AFP photographer estimated 20,000 “Red Shirts” ― loyal to Yingluck’s party ― had massed late today at a football stadium in the city suburbs ahead of the ruling.

The Bangkok Post with a later report:

Around 12,000 anti-government demonstrators gathered at the monument on Ratchadamnoen Avenue on Tuesday night.

Reporters estimated 30,000 people were at the rally on Tuesday night, but red-shirt leader Veerakarn Musikapong put the number at double that figure and said he expected more people to join the crowds on Wednesday morning before the court delivers its verdict.

BP:

1. There is no doubt a threat to the government by the Constitution Court case as the Court could do anything including a ruling what could bring down the government but the reds protest is more about – to use a US parlance – uniting the base and to bring reds back into the fold by reminding them about the establishment and how the government they voted for can be removed from office.

2. Yesterday and today’s rally – along with the other red rallies over the last 10 days – are  also meant to be a show of force to the establishment that the reds are still a force to be reckoned with despite what transpired over the Amnesty Bill. Having said that, would the reds have got a bigger turnout if the Amnesty Bill had not happened? BP has no doubt that the answer is “yes”. To really shock the establishment and change momentum, they needed at least twice the number of protesters they got (perhaps, it did reach 40k, but from photos there are still plenty of gaps in the stadium).

Now, we wait for the Constitution Court ruling…