I went to the Red Shirt rally. I'll definitely post photos later, and I'll try to blog more, but I wanted to get some things down before I forgot.
I took a cab to the rally. The traffic wasn't very bad. The cab dropped me off where the road was closed, and it was only a block or two walk to the main rally. I was pretty tired today, and when I got there, I definitely wasn't feeling the love to photograph. At the time, I really didn't want to be there.
I walked around and took some photos. I noticed people were in a really long line, but I didn't know why at the time. Turns out they were part of the group looking to donate blood for the protest. I don't know if all of the protesters donated, but a lot seemed eager.
There was a stage where people were giving speeches. They were speaking in Thai, so I didn't understand a lot. I heard the name of the current Prime Minister, Abhisit, quite often. I am certain that what was said wasn't flattering. I wandered near the stage, and there were guards keeping people out. As I approached, they waved me through. Having a nice camera and a white face can come in handy. Its weird, that living in the U.S., I never really thought about my skin color, certainly not to give me an advantage. Here it told people that I was probably a reporter. I knew they had green armbands that they were giving to the press, but at the time I decided to not try to acquire one. I was really in a bad mood.
So I walked around taking some photos of the people and drinking water. Most people were more than willing to have their photo taken, and some even requested it. I had my 24-105 L lens, which truthfully, I'm becoming less enamored with. Its okay, but I was really wishing that I had my 70-200 2.8 IS lens.
Finally I made my way back to stage area, and once again entered the back area. I decided to get press credentials which I easily did by printing my name and the organization I represented... Flickr Thai Photos. :D There was a foreign girl up on stage taking photos with a small point and shoot camera, so I decided to make my way up. I went up and took photos without any issue. The speaker at the time was a police officer who I had never seen before. I recognize one or two of the heads of the UDD, but I don't think he was one of them. One of the representatives invited me to a press conference for foreign media at 1:00 p.m., but I couldn't make it. I needed to leave at 12:30. I was going to meet Tim for lunch.
I walked around some more and shot photos of people giving blood. They were happy to pose for the camera.
I talked to Tim and we tried to find a place to meet. She was driving from somewhere nearby. I had a motor cycle driver talk to her so he could take me close to her. The was a mixup, because after a ten minute motorcycle ride, I was much farther away from her than if I had just remained where I was. I decided to just take a cab and come home.
Overall it was a fun time. People were really nice, a lot asking where I was from. I'm going to miss the spilling of the blood on the government building later today. I'm considering going back tomorrow, but I'm not sure I want to. Maybe. I am definitely glad I went today though.