Tuesday anti-government protesters stormed Thailand's main airport building, leaving thousands of travelers stranded and threatening the country's tourism industry. Flights were canceled at Thailand's main airport.
Members of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) broke through police lines and roamed through the sprawling $4 billion terminal, southeast of Bangkok, as startled tourists looked on.
At Suvarnabhumi, a major regional air hub that handles 76 flights an hour and 125,000 passengers a day, protesters broke through lines of riot police.
There are lot of people with sticks and baseball bats. Ready for a fight. Outside the terminal, thousands of PAD members waved plastic hand-clappers, flags and portraits of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, while others slung razor wire across the four-lane access road.
VoteStrike.com interviewed PAD spokesman Parnthep Pourpongpan "Our goal is to shut down Suvarnabhumi airport until Somchai quits," he said of the protest, aimed at Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat.
"It is time to make a clear-cut choice between good and evil, between those who are loyal and traitors," PAD leader Somsak Kosaisuk told VoteStrike.com
Even after a nationwide strike, Somchai has rejected repeated PAD demands that he resign. The PAD enjoys the backing of Bangkok's urban middle classes and elite, while Thaksin and the government largely claim their support from the rural voters and urban poor who returned them in a December election.
In related news General Strikes shut down the French rail system. The strike began at 8 p.m. Wednesday and finished at 8 a.m. Friday. Half the regional and intercity trains did not run. Fabien Villedieu, a SUD freight train driver at the Paris Gare de Lyon station, told VoteStrike.com "They'll start with freight and then it'll be all rail workers. A surprising amount of passenger drivers have committed themselves to supporting the action."
In the U.S., bank boycotts started by VoteStrike.com supporters have shut down over 100 banking institutions. It is the first international strike to be organized since the explosion of the financial crisis in September obliged governments in the U.S. and all over the world to bail out the banks with massive injections of public money. Similiar general strikes have occured in Italy and Greece this month in response to government bail outs.