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Enemies at the Gate

Much has been written about the ongoing Bangkok stand-off between troops and anti-government protesters. Some of it has been misinformed and tacky. Other articles have proven insightful and inspiring.

Upheaval in Thailand

Is Thailand headed for civil war?

BANGKOK, Thailand — Outside an Au Bon Pain cafe scarred by grenade shrapnel, several hundred Thais gathered to shout down their enemies. Their enmity was aimed across a busy thoroughfare, past a crude rampart built from bamboo and old tires, and into an urban encampment of the “Red Shirts,” a protest faction hellbent on ousting the government.

Bamboo Battlements in the Heart of Bangkok

In recent days, Thailand's anti-government protesters -- the Red Shirts -- been prevented from expanding their territory in Bangkok by battalions of heavily armed soldiers. Instead, this largely working-class movement to oust the ruling party has decided to double down on their core encampment around Ratchaprasong, the city's swankest shopping district. How? By walling the perimeter with this Mad Max-esque rampart of bamboo rods...

Disappearing family farm

The Thai police evader's saccharine sweet past

You may catch some dramatic footage on CNN or BBC this morning of a brawny Thai protest leader escaping a police sting by rappelling from a third-story hotel room. Here's video, ripped from Thai TV by the website Asian correspondent.

Changing seasons on the Thai farm

CHIANG MAI, Thailand — At 52, Sri Tatui’s identity is etched in his hands. Construction dust cakes his fingers, collected in the cracks and calluses he has earned through a life of farming. He shades his face from the hot Thai sun, gazing toward the foundation of a house those hands are building. “If people see me here, I say I’m a construction worker. If people see me in the rice field, I say I’m a farmer.”

Thai tensions rise

Is Bangkok set to explode? Thailand's "red shirt" protesters have once again massed in the city's upscale Rachaprasong neighborhood. According to Reuters, some 20,000 gathered there Wednesday evening. "We will use the Rachaprasong area as the final battleground to oust the government," protest leader Nattawut Saikua told reporters on Wednesday, referring to the hotel and shopping district a couple of blocks from Bangkok's financial area. "There will be no more negotiations."

On Location: Bangkok protests

Video: Hostages, corpses after political clash in Bangkok

A military crackdown on Thai protesters hellbent on toppling the government turned nasty this afternoon. More than nine people — soldiers and protesters alike — are reported dead and several hundred are wounded. The melee happened near Bangkok's neon-lit backpacker haven Khao San. Protesters have taken several soldiers hostage.
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