Thailand: Tiny Turnout for “Major” US-Funded Anti-Government Rally

After vowing to “occupy” Government House for “3 days” protesters already begin withdrawal after small turnout and an inability to provoke government security forces. 

October 15, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci – ATN) – Despite desperate attempts to claim “tens of thousands” showed up at yesterday’s “major rally” – only approximately 8,000 protesters actually attended despite perfect weather and nearly a month long campaign promoting the rally’s date across the Western and local media.

Even pro-opposition media admitted police estimates of 8,000 were likely accurate and that even opposition organizers – who regularly inflate crowd numbers – only claimed between 10,000 and 20,000 attended – a number even smaller than the September 19 rally.  

This calls into question earlier attempts by the BBC, Reuters, AP, and AFP who initially and dishonestly attempted to claim “tens of thousands” were in the streets – exposing their “journalism” to be much more like lobbying and even espionage – aimed at boosting momentum of a movement engaged in sedition. 

READ MORE: For continuous coverage of US meddling in Thailand and the ongoing protests visit AltThaiNews

The protesters filed down narrow roads allowing the Western media and US-funded fronts posing as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to take photos and dishonestly depict the packed environment as an endless sea of protesters but through basic crowd counting techniques onlookers with access to Google Earth or police and media interested in honest assessments were able to easily determine the protests failed to reach even 10,000. 

A similar “major rally” held on September 19 failed to reach 20,000 – an admitted flop for protest organizers who at the time expected “hundreds of thousands” and promised that if larger numbers of protesters did not attend on October 14 they would call off their demonstrations entirely. 

Unsurprisingly despite an even smaller turnout than on September 19 – US government-funded agitator Anon Nampa has broken his promise and vowed to assemble protesters again later today at Rajprasong intersection – exactly where fugitive billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra and his red shirts organized their notoriously violent mob in 2010 which led to nearly 100 deaths. 

FULL DETAILS OF 2010 RED SHIRT VIOLENCE: US-funded Front Supports Thai Terrorist Sympathizers

The move will endanger a central commercial area of Bangkok already under severe pressure from the global COVID-19 economic crisis. The area was targeted by arson and looting by this same group of protesters in 2010 leaving major shopping centers, historical theaters, and public buildings destroyed.

While the Western media and their local Thai partners appear “surprised” that the current protest is following in the footsteps of Thaksin Shinawatra’s red shirts – Thaksin’s red shirts clearly make up the majority of the protesters that assembled yesterday – with the ultimate goal to extralegally bring both Thaksin Shinawatra and his political allies including fellow billionaire Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit into power after losing general elections in 2019. 

Thanathorn even personally attended the protests yesterday – but his presence was clearly not enough to attract more support. 

Why is the US Funding Anti-Government Protesters in Thailand? 

Core protest leader Anon Nampa is a member of Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) – a US government-funded front receiving money via the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) through the Union for Civil Liberty according to the US NED’s own official website.  

READ MORE: The Complete Guide: US Government Role in Thailand’s “Student Protests”

Other US government-funded fronts including Prachatai, iLaw, and Isaan Record led the disinformation campaign yesterday attempting to artificially boost the size and legitimacy of the protest while attacking the Thai government and its supporters. They spent weeks promoting yesterday’s protests and despite massive “support” online across social media – it failed to materialize in the streets. 

This calls into question the role US-based social media networks like Twitter and Facebook have played in also attempting to promote and artificially inflate the influence of an otherwise unpopular movement engaged in foreign-funded sedition. 

US interest in overthrowing the current Thai government by funding and backing anti-government groups stems from Thailand’s growing ties with China and Washington’s desire to reverse them. 

China is currently Thailand’s largest trade partner, largest foreign investor, largest source of tourism, largest arms supplier, and a key partner in several major infrastructure projects including Thailand’s rollout of 5G telecommunication technology and a regional high-speed rail network. 

Dwindling Protest Numbers – Growing Desperation 

Having clearly failed to attract public support since the 2014 coup ousting Thaksin Shinawatra’s sister from power and since 2019 after vowing to reverse the outcome of general elections the opposition squarely lost – protesters have resorted to increasingly violent and confrontational tactics to attract attention and provoke a government response they and their Western media partners want to portray to the world as “crimes” in order to invite wider Western pressure and possibly even intervention. 

There are now fears that – having failed to attract public support – the protests will attempt to trigger violence to have their Western media sponsors spin as government-initiated and used as the Western media has in other nations targeted by similar US-backed “soft power” interventions to pressure the Thai government to step down or at the very least sow chaos and clear the way for sanctions and other punitive measures aimed at targeting Thailand’s economy and international standings.

The use of Thaksin Shinawatra and his red shirt’s “black shirt” militants to target protesters and security forces alike in a bid to escalate violence as was done in 2010 is a possibility and a factor the government and honest media sources should be prepared to expose and counter. 

It is hoped that when this opposition movement is fully contained the foreign network that created and perpetuated it can finally be dismantled as was done by China in Hong Kong.

In Hong Kong – US government-funded fronts were expelled from the region. US-based social media networks were replaced by local alternatives, and foreign media staff were either expelled or placed under higher scrutiny – disallowed to abuse their credentials to engage in political lobbying and even espionage under the guise of journalism. Stricter laws were put in place to penalize those engaged in foreign-funded sedition.

While the US attempts to stitch together a regional network to undermine national sovereignty in Asia and surround China with hostile political movements – a likewise regional network should be created to confront and expel US interference in the region leaving room only for American and other Western interests seeking to do business fairly and as partners with the region rather than working to exercise hegemonic power over it.