Can the Thai Redshirts succeed using violence?

The political crisis in Thailand seems to have devolved into total chaos and violence (on both sides) since last week, when the promise of a compromise between the opposition Redshirts and the government was said to be imminent. For those looking to understand the situation better, check out this piece in The Guardian called “Q&A: Who and what is causing the Thailand confrontation?

It confirmed several points for me. On the negative side, the Redshirts are not committed to nonviolence and have a paramilitary wing. This seems to have contributed to their failure thus far, as the Thai military is better armed and looking for an excuse to crackdown.

On the positive side, the Red Shirts do have a just cause, in that they represent the poor and disenfranchised majority. With people power on their side, the Redshirts have a shot at winning, but again, violence is not their strong suit and will likely undermine their cause. They need to focus and remain committed to the successes they have achieved thus far, which have come through nonviolent tactics like the occupation of Bangkok’s business district, a main pillar of support to the government.