“Since Thailand’s absolute monarchy fell in 1932, the country has seen 12 military coups. It was led directly by a military government until 2019, and it continues to have a military-backed regime. Displeasure with the Thai government had been brewing since the 2019 election: Despite winning a majority of parliamentary seats, the opposition Pheu Thai Party was not allowed to form a government after many reported irregularities and electoral rule changes, leading many to call the results rigged. As a result, the incumbent prime minister, Prayuth Chan-Ocha, was allowed to remain in power.
Discontent with the Thai government has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. A massive drop in tourism, which drives 10 percent of Thailand’s GDP, contributed to a 12.2 percent contraction of GDP in the second quarter of this year. The outbreak was exploited to legitimize an extensive crackdown against dissent, according to an Amnesty International report.”
“Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agents and U.S. marshals dressed in military gear and brandishing large weapons have been stationed in Portland since around the start of the month, per an executive order from President Donald Trump. The feds are allegedly there to protect national monuments and guard against potential domestic terrorism.
Instead, this deliberately intimidating gaggle of outside “law enforcement” officers has been agitating peacefully assembled people who are merely exercising their constitutional rights. This has included shooting one man directly in the head with an impact munition of some sort (sending him to the hospital and necessitating facial reconstruction surgery) and, reportedly, forcing protesters into unmarked vans.
According to an internal Homeland Security memo, “federal agents facing backlash for their militarized approach to Portland were not specifically trained in riot control or mass demonstrations,” The New York Times reports.
That doesn’t bode well for the idea that they were sent in with mitigation in mind.
Despite federal agent actions last week, large Portland protests continued over the weekend…
…and so did federal agents acting in unnecessarily hostile and abusive ways ”
“Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler told CNN on Sunday that “they’re not wanted here, we haven’t asked them here, in fact we want them to leave.””
“Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has suggested the feds’ presence was a “deliberate effort to provoke.” She told The Washington Post “that her contacts with Trump administration officials about the situation had convinced her that ‘they are not interested in problem solving,’ and this has ‘nothing to do with public safety.'””
“Oregon’s Department of Justice is suing the DHS, the U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the Federal Protection Service. The lawsuit, filed in federal court on Saturday, alleges that “they seized and detained Oregonians without probable cause,” explains Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.”