Integrity Legal - Law Firm in Bangkok | Bangkok Lawyer | Legal Services Thailand Back to
Integrity Legal

Legal Services & Resources 

Up to date legal information pertaining to Thai, American, & International Law.

Contact us: +66 2-266 3698

"We Have No Choice But Protest"

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, well at least as the photo would suggest we are talking about lockdowns yet again. I have had some people ask me: “Why are you staying on this topic?” or “Why do you keep talking about it when the thrust of the channel is more just about legal news etc.?” Well this is probably the biggest legal news to my mind or the biggest ongoing legal story.

The reason for that is back in March of 2020 the Emergency Decree that was invoked at the time effectively sidelines or you could use the term suspended at least temporarily presumably, basically huge swaths of the standard legal system here in Thailand; the various legal codes have been set aside for the moment if you will under this Emergency Decree. For example, just one example is the Immigration Act. Standard Immigration protocols and regulations that existed prior to March 2020 have been currently suspended and we are operating under this Emergency Decree which has led to things like Certificates of Entry for example etc. That is kind of the reason I have been talking about this on an ongoing basis. 

There is a secondary reason and that is I love Thailand greatly. I am a Thai myself. I have been accorded the honour frankly and the privilege of being granted citizenship so I have a deep affinity for Thailand and I have a deep affinity for the Thai people, my adoptive people, and I have a deep affinity for the people that are around me at all times and folks that I have seen in this pandemic that have truly been hurting that economically have been greatly distressed and everybody uses this almost shorthand now and says "oh it is the result of the pandemic." Well no strictly speaking it is the result of responses to the pandemic; things like the lockdown. The pandemic did not cause the lockdown and we have gone through this over and over. Government response to the pandemic, be it the United States; be it here in Thailand; be it the UK wherever. Those restrictions are what caused people not able to go into work like usual and have the economic ramifications therefrom. There are second and third order effects that are coming from this and one of them, I am going to get into this quote I am going to read here in a moment which just the minute I read it, it just hit me like a ton of bricks. I was here in 2010 in Bangkok. I lived through that; I lived here at the time and the area of town that our office is in, was in at that time, it is still in same area of town, it was not a particularly pleasant experience and I don't think anybody who lived in Bangkok at the time really wants to ever see that happen again. Moreover, it was a bit of a scary time insofar as one was constantly worried about whether or not things could spin out of control; what was going to happen; it was stressful to say the least. So while we are briefly going to talk about the protests and it has been in the news all over, we are going to generally discuss it, I am not getting into all that. Suffice it to say, I will let my comments speak for themselves but suffice is to say also, I don't want to see anything negative happen to my adopted country and I don't want to see anything again go to a place where we don't really so much want to get into a situation that is difficult to get out of; let's leave it at that. Long story short we are seeing protests presently and there is a lot of discussion in the press about polarization and things. I am not getting into all of that. One aspect of this that I don't think people have seen or are noticing and I have seen this glossed over in the international press where we see other, it is not like Thailand is alone in having protest right now. France, Greece, I believe Germany, UK, various places around the world; the US especially in 2020 had its own series of protests. This isn't just a Thailand specific issue but something I see constantly glossed over is it is viewed as well a holy a political byproduct of politics and I don't know if that is necessarily the whole truth. Yeah I think that there is certainly a lot of how do I put it, I certainly think politics accounts for a lot of it or some of it or some portion of it but I have to be honest, the economic ramifications of lockdowns have to be taken into account. Economic ramifications have social consequences as well.

A recent article and like I said, when I saw this single line, this one sentence it hit me like a ton of bricks. This is from Reuters that is, the article is titled: Thai Anti-Government Protesters Clash With Police in Bangkok and they are quoting a 23 year old male protester who only gave his first name "Aom" for fear of repercussions. Quoting directly: "We don't have jobs and income so we have no choice but protest." I just thought that was as poignant as it can get. It kind of hit the nail right on the head and the question is “Why are there issues with jobs and income?” Well people can't work like they normally do. We have got we have got this lockdown regime upon us. Again and I have said this a million times, I am not interested and this is not a blame thing. I would say we all got in this together. Everybody actions and counter reactions and things; we just are where we are and that is what it is and as we have discussed in other videos, there is some serious question as to whether or not these methodologies are working. One thing I thought was quite interesting came from the Pattaya News, that is, and the article is titled: "Prominent Thai Doctor says Lockdown Measures aren't Working. Tighter Ones won't work either. Ease them to save the economy and quoting directly from that article: "Dr. Manoon Leechawengwongs of Vichaiyut Hospital predicted the COVID-19 situation in Thailand via his online statement that the number of domestic infections and deaths from COVID-19's Delta mutant will continue to increase regardless of how intense the lockdown measures are." Quoting further: "The status read: People's homes have become the place where high infections occurred over all, so some lockdown measures should be relaxed immediately before the Thai economy became even worse. The current measures are only hurting the economy and the people and not stopping the spread of COVID-19. Vaccines are the answer here not tighter restrictions, curfews, and lockdowns." So I thought that was interesting. Just to re-quote just briefly there: "The current measures are only hurting the economy and the people and not stopping the spread of COVID-19." Again that is, Prominent Thai Doctor says Lockdowns aren't Working. And again just to quote again from this Reuters article, quoting directly: "We don't have jobs and income so we have no choice but protest."

I remember 2010 and a lot of people may not recall this but in the lead up to the pretty substantial protests we saw at that time that got pretty out of hand for lack of a better term, in the lead up to that there were political things going on in the background but one of the big ones as I recall from the headlines at the time, there was reduction in a rice subsidy as well as a proposed increase in certain types of agricultural real estate taxes they were discussing and it basically created a similar, in my opinion a similar mindset. I remember talking about two people at the time and that similar mindset was, again quoting directly: "We don't have jobs and income but we have no choice but protest." It seems similar, that mindset at the time that people said “hey it may be more to my economic benefit to go ahead and protest.” Now are they right? I don't know. I am not making commentary on that. What I am making commentary on is sometimes perception is reality and if people perceive they have no other options, I have quoted before a guy he is also on YouTube a guy named Gerald Celente, and he sometimes says: "When people lose everything and have nothing left to lose, they lose it!" And we are starting to see some of this stuff and my opinion just from anecdotal experience, being on the ground here, it looks to me like lockdowns are the primary reason for this unrest. Folks are very unhappy because they are having economic hardship as a result of not being, in many cases not being able to work at all. 

Hopefully, as I said, and a lot of people have asked me "Well, what is the solution?" Well I don't know every aspect of the solutions and I just don't really want to make comments on the medical side of any of this. I can only make comments on what I see, and legal aspects of these things but I think economically we can say that yes these definitely are detrimental, these lockdowns. Concurrently, I think we can definitely at least raise the question of whether or not they truly are providing any substantial benefit and if they are not providing substantial benefit, isn't it maybe time to reconsider continuing to implement them at all?