Anti-Russian protest in Phuket’s Bang Tao area
PHUKET: Tour agency “Alex Tour” in Bang Tao is now closed for an indefinite period of time following a mass protest against Russian businesses in the Bang Tao beach area.
Monday 28 January 2013, 03:22PM
Russian language newspaper Novosti Phuketa reported that hundreds of people gathered in the area this afternoon (January 28) to protest against Russian businesses.
Local businessmen first announced the planned protest on the weekend, placing banners all around Bang Tao streets where several Russian tour agencies (including Alex Tour) are located.
The protesters believe Alex Tour is Russian owned.
The banners urged locals to reject Russian businesses, saying things such as “Alex Tour get out, “Russian business get out”, and “Bang Tao Russian mafia free”.
The street protest started about 1pm this afternoon. The enraged crowd first blocked the entrance of Alex Tour, and then smashed the sign of the tour agency.
Today’s protest follows a rowdy meeting on January 4 at the Karon Municipality offices, where Thai businesspeople condemned the business activities of Russians in the area which, local people say, are depriving them of their livelihoods.
“We don’t need you! Get out! Get out!” read one placard. “We don’t need Russian businessmen,” read another. A third read, “Brothers and sisters, we must block Russians from the tour, restaurant, massage and other businesses.”