An anonymous New Mandala contributor based in Oxford writes:
I’m very sorry to report that I failed to get into Abhisit’s talk this morning [Saturday] at St John’s. I arrived for the talk 15mins beforehand to find that the auditorium was “full” – it appeared that the talk was over-subscribed (we were asked to register beforehand with the Department of Politics), with at least 40 others who were queueing alongside me denied entry into the college…
For what it’s worth, there were about two dozen red-shirted protesters outside St John’s with anti-Abhisit, pro-democracy banners. A pimply Thai undergrad stood guard at the college gate, and meekly remonstrated with people who asked why they weren’t being let in even though they had registered. Some academics from Mansfield College denied entry got agitated, saying stuff like “The only reason we’re not being let in is he doesn’t want to answer our questions. He doesn’t believe in free speech.”
A pamphlet was handed out to people, undersigned by Dr Giles [Ungapkorn], and headed “St John’s should not play host to the Thai prime minister who supports the suppression of democracy”. The closing reads:
A civil war is developing in Thailand and it is a class war between the rich and the poor. The Royalist Yellow-shirts represent the undemocratic elite, while a new Civil Society is emerging from the pro-democracy Red Shirt movement. The Red Shirts are becoming a republican movement, representing millions of Thais. We need to cut down the military’s influence in society, reform the judiciary and the police and to expand freedom and democracy from this grassroots movement … we need to abolish the Monarchy. For it has now become a serious obstacle to freedom and human dignity in Thailand.