Armed soldiers are again threatening to use lethal force against peaceful pro-democracy Red Shirts who are camped on the road at Rajprasong. They have surrounded the protest site. The nearby luxury hotels have been told to evacuate all guests. A small group of fascist royalists is also cooperating with the soldiers by trying to incite violence. The sky train and business sector are occupied by armed troops.
The Red Shirts want immediate elections. This is because the present government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva was installed by the military in late 2008. This followed a military coup in 2006, two judicial coups, and organized violence by fascist yellow-shirted mobs who took over the international airports in 2008.
The Red Shirts have been very disciplined and non-violent. They have prepared bamboo barricades to defend themselves against the army. Red Shirts in the northeast have stopped troop trains and troop buses heading for Bangkok. They are fraternizing with the lower ranking troops.
The Red Shirts are a mass movement of the poor: workers and small farmers. They represent millions of citizens who want democracy and social justice.
On 10th April the army shot dead 20 unarmed civilians and a Japanese cameraman.
There is widespread censorship of the media and Internet inside Thailand. Mobile phone messages may soon be stopped by the authoritarian government. Abhisit and various government spokespeople have no shame in telling lies. They want to murder the people in secret, but Red Shirts have ways around the censorship. Thailand and the world can see what is happening.
The bloodthirsty royalist tyrants who are ruling Thailand can only cling to power by the use of force and blanket censorship. Rather than handing power back to the people by dissolving parliament and holding elections, they are prepared to shoot hundreds of people. The middle classes, NGOs, and “liberal” academics all support the government and the military. They hate and despise the ordinary citizens.
They can kill the people, but they will never win their hearts and minds!
Giles Ji Ungpakorn is a Thai socialist, currently in exile in the U.K. His latest book Thailand’s Crisis and the Fight for Democracy will be published in April 2010. See, also, “Thailand: Seeing through the Mist of Tear Gas” (MRZine, 16 April 2010).