Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Red Rally

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.

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