I'm pleased that there has been no real violence to date, and it seems both the government and protesters have learned from the past.
(also more people have camera's at hand now so hopefully any actions by agent provocateur's will quickly be able to be seen as such).
My biggest complaint regarding the media coverage (including many bloggers) is that most are taking a very short term view and cannot see the wood for the trees.
Concentrating on one red herring after another misses the big picture, and plays right into the hands of those who comprise the real power in Thailand.
Most overlook how the current government came into power – no amount of spin can get away from the fact that this government is only in power because of a military & judicial coup.
The lead coalition partner, Abhisit’s (not so) Democrats, refused to participate in elections before the coup, and even after having things rigged in its favour and competitors removed, its still afraid to face the people in an election.
They also fail to look at the history of miltary coups in Thailand, where its always some military General or other deciding a group of ‘corrupt’ politicians need to be removed – the first act of those generals is always to change the constitution to exonerate themselves, and then they move on to enriching themselves and whichever network they are aligned with.
A push then comes for democracy from the people, sometimes elections are held, and sometimes another coup occurs, or even a ’self coup’.
The people are never given the chance to remove governments – The old saying: ‘The rural masses elect the governments and the Bangkok elite removes them’ is a cycle being repeated endlessly.
Like it or not Thaksin's TRT was the only government to win consecutive elections – it should have been left to the people to decide when they want to remove that government.
No lasting good will ever come from a military coup, because two wrongs will never make a right.
If anyone is interested in the background of HOW its been possible for the masses to be continually disenfranchised, they could start with books by Paul Handley & Federico Ferrara.
In some private contacts it's become apparent that the point I'm trying to make above has again been missed.
For clarification: My point is that democracy has never been ALLOWED to develop in Thailand - since the change from absolute monarchy in 1932, individual players have come and gone (although some have stuck around longer than others:)
Whilst prominent individual politicians have many flaws, the real issue is the system and how military coups have not been delegitimized - ask yourself why is that so? (if you answer that it's because of corrupt politicians, then you are missing the point again:)