Nov. 27, 2008 – photo © George Mann – Hand clappers at Suvarnabhumi protest. Whenever the PAD want to make a point, cheer, applaud, or generally want to make noise, they use plastic hand clappers. They are their weapon of choice in this political struggle. When they were cheering a popular PAD speaker, they were “hand clapping” so enthusiastically that I felt like I was being swept away, therefore this image.
Nov. 27, 2008 – photo © George Mann – The face of the political revolution in Thailand, at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok. Young and old are fighting this struggle together.
Nov. 27, 2008 – photo © George Mann – Protesters camped out outside of the departure lounge at Suvarnabhumi.
Nov. 27, 2008 – photo © George Mann – Protesters camping out in front of the entrance to the Thai International Airlines departure lounge.
Nov. 27, 2008 – photo © George Mann – The departure lounge itself is fully air-conditioned but fairly deserted with no airline employees visible, the lights are on, the air conditioners are running, and the bathrooms are open for anyone to use. There is no sign of looting or abuse of any of the airport or airline property. This is the most well mannered group of demonstrators I have ever seen.
Nov. 27, 2008 – photo © George Mann – Food and water are available (for free) at a number of locations at the Suvarnabhumi protest site. People keep asking me if I need a sandwich, some fruit, water, and even ice cream. The feeling is more like a gigantic picnic site, than a political protest. Blankets, underwear, soap and other toiletries, plus medicines are also available, all you have to do is ask.
Nov. 27, 2008 – photo © George Mann – The protesters applauding a speaker with their plastic hand clappers. The combined noise of a thousand or more hand clappers is fairly hypnotic and kind of musical, it is really quite an experience.
Nov. 27, 2008 – photo © George Mann – A mother and son who have joined the protest at the Suvarnabhumi Airport to support the People’s Alliance for Democracy in their struggle.
Nov. 27, 2008 – photo © George Mann – Protesters recharging their phones in the Suvarnabhumi Airport departure lounge, so that they can stay in touch with their families and friends. Notice the internet terminals in the background.
Nov. 27, 2008 – photo © George Mann – There is some free enterprise at the protest, but it is pretty much restricted to t-shirts, hats, bandanas and hand clappers. The prices are generally very low though, t-shirts are being sold for 100 Baht (about US$3) and hand clappers for from as low as 10 Baht and if you buy a few, they will automatically throw in more for free.