They Were Throwing Blood in Bangkok

I know this is an older story, but the idea of blood as protest made me want to comment.  The BBC has a great article on the background behind the use of blood here. I have to confess, I had no idea Thailand was such a superstitious country. Of particular interest is the bit in the linked article about female protesters using menstrual blood in much the same manner in 2008. Apparently, the objects of their protest were disheartened that their own magic had been nullified by the powerful menses. Wow.

I suppose if I’m going to comment, I should mention that the ‘Red Shirts‘ have not let up since the blood incident. In fact, they shut down a large swath of Bangkok over the weekend. I’m certainly not knowledgeable enough about the situation to make detailed analysis, but when a group is protesting against a military dictatorship in favor of free, democratic elections, I’m generally in favor. I find the use of magic and superstition to be the most fascinating aspect because the power of belief is a strong one. If one is inclined to believe that magic can work, then behavior can be modified so that the magic seems to have done its job.

By all accounts, the protesters have been as civil as possible and appear to have made some headway in their demands. The Prime Minister has agreed to elections, though the Red Shirts want them to be held immediately. I will be watching the development, but given dictators’ propensity for power, I can’t imagine we’re anywhere near the end of the story.


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