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    Thai "Red Shirts" Fortify Protest Site


    by NTDTelevision

    Tensions are brewing in Bangkok’s shopping area on Silom Road, as its residents tried to drive away the red shirt protesters from the area.

    Anti-government protesters continue to camp out in an avenue of posh shopping malls, where a large stage has been set up. They built a barricade with bamboo sticks on an intersection dividing the upscale shopping zone and the banking district of Silom, which troops have heavily secured.

    They also fortified their main rally site after the government warned they would be evicted.

    Dozens of Silom residents, who are concerned that the protesters will march to their district, took to the streets telling troops to drive away the red shirts.

    [Office Worker in Silom]: (Thai female) (no title bar)
    "I don't want them to occupy our area or anywhere else in Bangkok. The problem will be resolved if they are the ones to stop. Not us. We came here to protect our home. We love the nation."

    Some agitated Silom residents tried attacking a man they believed was a "red shirt," until police intervened.

    Meanwhile, a few blocks away, troops were visibly patrolling the Silom area on high alert for any red shirt movement.

    [Warunee Deewong, Protester]: (female, Thai)
    "I feel like I'm in a war. It's cruel and it's not right for the people. They (soldiers) cannot do this in Thailand, where the majority are Buddhist, and people live peacefully."

    The red shirts called off a planned march in the nearby business district on Tuesday after an army spokesman said troops would use their weapons if provoked.

    It is uncertain how the standoff will end, with negotiations highly unlikely, as both sides are not budging. Some say troops will use force if necessary to take back the protest site, and encounters could take a violent turn.