Sales of Red Shirt Merchandise doesn’t seemed to have been affected much by the leaders recent decision to ask their members to go “multi-colour”. Vendors just switched their stock from shirts to accessories and other souvenirs. And it is not just the Red Shirt protesters buying. When I was there I spotted quite a few “Demonstration Tourists” who were picking up souvenirs from the protest site. And not all of them were Thai as there were plenty of Westerners and Asians too.
When I went to take pictures at the Yellow Shirt rallies, I remember buying a few souvenirs like anyone else. That doesn’t mean I went around wearing a yellow scarf in the same way it doesn’t mean I am wearing red now. I feel it is very important for me to remain as neutral as I can when taking pictures and reporting on what I see.
However, there have been a fair number of foreigners at the rally site wearing red. As far as I am concerned, the jury is still out on this one, but I just think it is not a good idea to meddle in the politics of your guest nation. We all have opinions and it is good to discuss them. But, at the end of the day, the definition of “democracy” in Thailand is always going to be different to what we know in the West.
Sitting in the crowd is one thing, but there has also been a number of foreigners going up onto the stage. There are even some working backstage in the media area. Let’s hope that they don’t get a visit from the Immigration Police during the night. But having said that, they are probably safe as long as they stay in the Red Lands. Apparently you don’t even need a passport there.
The pictures on this page show some of the varied souvenirs that you can now buy at the Night Bazaar in the Red Lands. You can still buy red shirts but there is a greater variety now. You can even buy these flip-flops with a picture of PM Abhisit on them. Other merchandise include pictures of pop stars and movie actors wearing red, VCDs of the Red leaders singing and giving speeches, and a long list of other things including clocks, rice cookers, kettles, mugs, books, key rings, badges and a lot more.