There was something on the news about the problem that there are women and children at the protest site, and the concern that they may be injured. And while we often chivalrously group them together, they are two completed different cases.
The children should not be a the protest site. The parents who have their kids there are knowingly putting them in danger. I understand that the kids were there in the beginning when it was safe. Its not been safe for a while, and the decision to keep the kids there is indefensible. Even if the parents wanted the kids there, the red shirt leadership should make them leave.
As far as the women go, I really don't feel any sympathy for adult women at the site. They chose to go there, and they chose to stay. If they feel like they are in danger, they can leave. Is an unarmed man any less vulnerable to a gunshot than an unarmed woman? I'm not for the wanton killing of people, but these are grown ups.
There was a story that the women were afraid to leave because they would be shot or killed by the soldiers. Its absolute and utter bullshit. If they announced to the soldiers and the media that a group of women wanted to leave, there is absolutely no chance that they would be fired upon. The army is letting people leave the rally, and if you peacefully approach the barricade, they are going to let you go. They want the rally to end.
I really don't think the red shirt leaders want the women and children to leave. They know that the soldiers are instructed to not shoot women and children, so they want them there for cover. A few weeks ago, when some red shirts up north tried to prevent police reinforcements from coming to Bangkok, they lined the women in front, while the men stood behind and threw things at the police. The women and children here at the protest site make it more difficult for the government forces to use force. The red shirt gunmen are interspersed in the crowd. When we say women and children first, I don't think we mean first to get hurt.
You can't credibly claim to care about the safety of women and children while you stand behind them and shoot at or throw objects at the police and army.