Violence is now likely in breaking up the demonstrations, because protest leaders have not prepared their followers to accept that civil disobedience requires a non-violent response to whatever means the authorities use.
In the 1960s anti-segregationists in the US engaged in civil disobedience, but we knew that in resisting arrest we could not use force. This passive resistance showed our respect for the law, even a law that we believed to be unjust, our readiness to be held accountable, and our commitment to non-violence, retaining the moral high ground on all counts.
But here, the protest leaders treated their followers as a mob, simply screaming, «Fight or no fight?» No time was given to weigh alternatives, either before or after taking over the ministries – which will now bring a reaction from the authorities.
Instead, you and I, dear reader, should support the opposition in the no-confidence motion now before Parliament. And if the motion fails, then help the Democrats or a third party to form a platform that is not only credible but meets the legitimate needs of all Thais, regardless of shirt colour.
Consider carefully the wisdom of our beloved King: «If the country does not follow the rule of law, it will not survive.»