Seattle in Bangkok

Residents of the Klong Dan area outside Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, along with 38 nongovernmental organizations demanded a halt to plans to build a wastewater treatment plant which would devastate nearby communities.

Inspired by the attempts in Seattle and Washington, DC to shut down the institutions of global capitalism, demonstrators converged on a narrow bridge leading to the Westin Hotel, where the annual Asian Development Bank meeting was in progress, and pushed police barricades down. The police were forced back. Some 4,000 protesters and 2,000 police clashed.

Unlike police in Seattle and Washington, DC, the police are reported (at least in the Associated Press) to have not used their clubs against protesters. A few people were injured in the confrontation with the police, possibly as a result of being caught in the crush of bodies storming the barricades.

The Asian Development Bank, which is dominated by the United States and Japan, was not shut down. Myoung-ho Shin, an ADB vice-president, attempted to stall protesters by offering to study their demand and meet with “their leaders” next month for talks. Organizers of the demonstration rejected the offer.

Demands include that the bank stop funding the wastewater treatment project and cease making loans which increase the debt of poor nations and hurt farmers and the poor.