Yes, they are taking place.
And one realises just how big the city is when the protests are so big they are all over the news not just here but also worldwide, yet, one never personally encountered any of the gatherings. (correction on the “worldwide”… everywhere except for the States, who cover only the Convention at the moment. It’s just as well. Keeps my father from breaking into a heart attack as he seems to assume I’m always in the middle of any such major news just because it’s reported to happen in the same region.)
So, yes, I am safe. No, I haven’t been directly affected. No, I haven’t even seen it.
In reality, the PAD protests have been taking place all summer long, even before I arrived. One of them is focused heavily on a major bridge to disrupt traffic. Most of them are targeted at government institutions. One major one was targeted at the British Embassy last week when the ex-PM fled to London, seeking asylum. The closets to work and that I had actually seen the remnants of are at the police headquarters about a month ago, while I was passing overhead on the Skytrain.
Today has been the major ones in terms of signs of violence. One of the Thai employees in our compound expressed concern about his mother’s home and its proximity to all the action, so some invisible dam of control break and all hell breaks loose.
Other than that, we farangs living in the newer part of town, away from the old city centre, are benefiting for slightly less road traffic, living our separate isolated lives in oblivion.
So, yes, we are safe, for now.