ASKOKE AND SUKHUMVIT ROAD BANGKOK Wednesday 19 May 2010
Dispatch from Sukhumvit Road.
I returned moments ago from the intersection at Asoke and Sukhumvit Road.
Tires burnt in the middle of the lanes carrying traffic toward Klong Toey. Those lanes are blocked with debris and burning tires.
Bangkok Asoke Sukhumvit Road 19 May 2010 2.15 p.m.
Crowds lined the streets along the Asoke side of the Exchange Tower. Uniformed and plainclothes police directing traffic at the intersection. People running around with cell phone cameras taking snapshots. Technology has resulted in some of the best coverage of urban street confrontation and fighting. And a number of foreign and local journalists have been shot. An Italian journalist was killed today.
Bangkok Asoke Sukhumvit Road 19 May 2010 2.16 p.m.
A lot of people are familiar with this major intersection in Bangkok. There are many luxury hotels, restaurants stretching from Asoke (Soi 23) to Soi 4 (Soi Nana). Normally it would be filled with vendors. But today that is not the case.
Bangkok Asoke Sukhumvit Road 19 May 2010 2.18 p.m.
When I arrived at the intersection one blue and white BMA bus blocked on outbound lane from Rama IV. A few minutes later, another empty blue and white bus arrived. It was driven by a man wearing a white mask and he received scattered applause from the crowd looking on as he nosed the bus against the one already abandoned in the intersection. That successfully blocked the lanes leading to Rama IV. Though the inbound lanes to Rama IV remained open as of 2.30 p.m.
Bangkok Asoke Sukhumvit Road 19 May 2010 2.25 p.m.
Meanwhile huge columns of smoke pouring out of the Rama IV area nearby. Can’t get any motorcycle taxi driver to take me to Rama IV. They say there is too much shooting. This is one of those times when you listen to the driver.