By December 6, 2013 37 Comments Read More →

Police In Thailand Lay Down Vests and Barricades In Solidarity With Protestors


In a stunning turn of events today in Thailand, riot police yielded to the peaceful protesters they were ordered to harass and block. They police removed barricades and their helmets as a sign of solidarity.

The protesters explain that their goal is to destroy the political machine of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who is accused of widespread corruption and abuse of power. Thaksin’s sister, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, is currently in power, and is seen as a puppet of her brother.

Suthep Thaugsuban, the leader of the widespread protests that have been going on in Thailand, told his supporters to storm the Bangkok Metropolitan Police Bureau. This was one of the primary buildings they vowed to take over in their plan to topple the Shinawatra government.

The move by police has surprised many, and marks a turning point in the protests and a potential shift in power.

This is not to suggest that the replacements the protestors have in mind are good or bad (think Egypt). Instead, it is a commentary only to note that the public gesture of laying down arms, shields, helmets and the like is a positive move between police and protestors that is unheard of in the West.

Watch the video below, and let us know what you think: could something like this even happen in Europe? In the United States?

(Article by Isa Abu Jamal; image via the Associated Press)

  • Claire

    This is Awesome!

    • WoundedEgo

      This probably should be the natural order of things but it isn’t.

  • pprt

    From the picture the police did not lay down on that day it was temporally rest only.

    The war still there it will end only Thaksin and the gang are not in Thailand.

  • Carrie Tucker

    I’m sorry to say that I do not see this happening in the US.

    Compassionate people are a minority here. People are complacent as long as they are comfortable. The US motto seems to be “I’ll get mine, screw everyone else”.

    I wish I were wrong!

    • WoundedEgo

      Maybe it is up to you.

      • Dick Durban

        Amen. Apathy is met with apathy. Be as pessimistic as you want – there are plenty of good, compassionate people left in the United States. Be the change you want to see!

        • Trevin

          But simply making an observation of apathy does not indicate any kind of likeness. I believe that most North Americans are comfortable, and therefore apathetic, but I don’t intend on allowing this apathy take me as well. I most certainly AM the change that I wish to see in the world, but don’t harbour any illusions that the enabling mass population will follow suit without a drastic change in day to life. This is not pessimism, it’s realism. Care to meet me with any more cliches?

    • Joe Blow

      You are 100% Right. We Have become a Anti-Political, and a everyone for themselves society. We are a Lonely society, working harder and longer… and going along with no purpose as a country. just moving for the sake of “Progress”.

      next time a cashier says “have a nice day” – think to yourself ,what does that actually mean in our distorted society?

    • Mosby

      It can’t happen in Amerika. Our police are mostly oathbreaking wusses who will follow facsist orders no matter what.

    • Anonymous

      “widespread corruption and abuse of power”

      No I think the article applies to America

  • Richard

    No this could not happen in the West, which has been dominated for thousands of years by hierarchical belief systems.

    • Charlie

      If you’re talking about the U.S. – it’s only been around for about 2 centuries, not “thousands of years.” As for the rest of the West – a thousand years ago it was all monarchies, i.e. Kings/Queens.

      All that eventually shifted to many forms of democracy, autocracies, etc. So explain how you consider that a “hierarchical belief system.”

    • Miguel

      which has been dominated for thousands of years by hierarchical belief systems.|

      So did/is the East? Or are you that ignorant to Asian history?

    • Allan Floyd

      Really? Are you that ignorant?
      “The West” hasn’t even been in existence for ONE thousand years!

  • WoundedEgo

    Cool cops.

  • Bobb


    I live in Chonburi (almost 2 years). Are you saying Thailand does not have a hierarchical belief system? They have a KING

  • Maxim

    Power in Solidarity. Wishing all the strength and courage to THailand nation

  • Ashley

    Why is everyone so quick to say that this would never happen in the West? I’m sure they believed it would never happen in Thailand.

    Be the change you wish to see in the world. If you believe your countrymen are unworthy, base, and incapable of betterment, well isn’t that part of the problem?

  • Bear

    It concerns the minds and hearts of the people. Thailand is predominately Buddhist and the values permeate the culture.
    The west is predominately monotheistic and the paradigm people approach life with is quite different.
    When you externalize divinity, you externalize responsibility. When you accept the divinity of the individual, transgressions against that divinity are more difficult. When you respect yourself and your fellow human beings as divine, there is no question of your duty to love and honor.
    While people still manifest an Almighty Invisible Friend to take this responsibility and divinity from its home and refuse to maturely accept it for themselves, they will remain in spirit and in morals like selfish children who will do what they want for themselves and blame the stolen cookies or other transgression on their Invisible Friend.

    • David

      All of this being irrelevant to whether or not externalized or internalized or other notions of divinity are true, of course. Something can be true and people can make bad use of it, or use it as license to do wrong; it doesn’t make it false.

      • Trevin

        You took Bear’s comment the completely wrong direction that he intended, I believe. They weren’t making a case for Atheism, they were merely stating the difference in belief systems between the Christian West and Buddhist Thailand that contributed to this inspiring event. I have been to Thailand, met many of the people, and can agree that there is a vast, elemental difference between the two peoples. I was incredibly impressed by their capacity for compassion, and by their ability to understand world events and trends. They have an honest and penetrating view of politics that Western ideals would balk at and consider radical. Buddhist values are at the core of these differences.

    • Tree

      I’m borrowing your words to quote, sir.

  • Malcolm

    I can see why this appears inspiring, but these are actually right-wing protestors who want to overthrow a government that was elected with a large majority. Thaksin, the current PM’s brother, was also elected and then overthrown by a military coup. The last five democratic elections in Thailand have all been won by a party aligned to Thaksin. But the yellow shirts (the current protestors) typically view the government’s supporters as inferior northern peasants and therefore assume that their votes and opinions count for nothing. It’s no surprise that the police are showing solidarity with people who stand for authoritarian government which ignores the people, also known as a police state.

  • chris s

    American “Police” a far to ignorant, brainwashed, and immoral to realize that their controllers are the problem, not the protesters.

  • Stephanie

    COUGHMONTREALCOUGH. Not happening… :-(

    But this is really beautiful. I got shivers all over.

  • Chuletas

    If we all really change its simple. Just do it now…everyone

  • BW

    Can you imagine what might have happened if the Occupy movements in the USA had been like this? Or the Mortsi protests in Egypt?

  • Reiner

    Respekt… Es ist eine grosse Geste der Polizei an das Volk, – dass sie ein Teil des Volkes sind.
    Regierende sind Volksvertreter und sollten das Volk repräsentieren den Willen des Volkes respektieren.
    Dieses Beispiel sollte in aller Welt gesehen werden und Schule machen.
    Thailand zeigt der ganzen Welt wie es gehen kann.

    Danke und viel Glück für Thailand

  • RyanSilver

    Sri Lanka—Please follow suit!!!!!

  • Jim Mooney

    No, it couldn’t happen here. Our police have been militarized and driven insane by the “war on drugs.” When you criminalize most of the people, the majority of whom have smoked grass, you make the police an enemy of the people.

  • http://notopenyetmaybedefuncttolackofhelpandfunds Lawrence John Lapadat

    We are the world we are the people great to see police see the light of love and truth.

  • http://notopenyetmaybedefuncttolackofhelpandfunds Lawrence John Lapadat

    Humanity is definely on the rise when persons of authority accept just causes as opposed to Canada’s problem where men of good concious attacked peaceful aboriginal people for protesting oil companies contamination of ground waters. Shame on you Mr Harper for miss use of Policing authorities.

  • Corina

    For comparison, its happening in Romania these days: our police and corrupted government defend interest of a multinational company: Chevron.

  • Richard Raymond

    Beautiful thing to see. It happened because they are all of the same race. Same Country and racial solidarity. Won’t happen hear on a wide scale. One of the worst things to happen to the U.S.A. in the last 65 years is the dismantling of the consensus we lived under in the 40′s 50′s See Pat Buchanan description of it.

  • John Saunders

    This is hope to be built upon. We are all connected and our efforts in the west are inspirational to those in countries with greater corruption than we can fathom. It is our illegal markets that are creating a lot of these instabilities. End prohibition and start investigating the oil and arms industries for a start. Offer amnesty for all confessions with a cease to activities. It’s the only way.

  • http://--- Levanah Darlene Ruthschild

    Beautifully articulated! There is a vast difference between the implications inherent in monotheism & those of a non-theistic religion such as Buddhism.

  • Tom Burton

    This is not all it appears to be. The Thai police standing down is more akin to cops looking the other way when the Klan shows up. You folks really need to look into this situation more closely