You’ve probably read of the ongoing blood protests in Thailand. The ‘Red Shirt’ Thaksin supporters have collected blood from their supporters to pour on the parliament. It’s all symbolic, but no-one seems to quite know what its symbolic of.
You can read it as ‘the blood of the people’, and so on. But, ahem, Thaksin himself spilt quite a lot of that when he was in power, so that may not be such a good idea. A better bet are the various black magic theories, which were the subject of a TV debate in Thailand. (See here and here.)
The blood pouring ceremony was headed by a Hindu Brahmin and a man carrying a statue of the Buddha. Mantras and so on were muttered, which shows that, at the very least, there’s more to it than just a symbol of political protest. Of course, last time it was the Yellow Shirts who used blood in their protests: they gathered the used sanitary products from their women supporters and placed them around a ‘powerful’ monument in Bangkok to undo the supposed magic of the Red Shirts.
So who to support? Thaksin, a known criminal who raised corruption and nepotism to new levels in his term as PM, but who keeps getting elected because of his populist policies? Or the anti-democratic yellow Shirts, who avowedly want to undo the limited success of Thailand’s democracy, returning power where it belongs: the Bangkok elite? After such progress during the 90s, i feel so sad for Thailand that they are faced with this miserable choice.