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Thailand: `The Red Shirts will fight on!' -- Eyewitness account, photos of Sept. 19 Red Shirt protest

Photos by Klaus Crimson.

[See also "Thailand: Return of the Red Shirts -- big protests mark massacre anniversary". For more on the Thai people's struggle for democracy, click HERE.]

By Peter Boyle

September 20, 2010 -- “It was truly an amazing experience yesterday. I expected that in the afternoon people would start to join. However after my ‘morning walk’ around 9am it was pretty clear to me that it might grow into something big”, “Klaus Crimson” – whose photographs of this historic rally of Thailand’s resurgent Red Shirt movement (popular name for the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, UDD) appear above (and here) – explained to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal and Green Left Weekly.

“Later in the morning Khun Sombat [Boonngamanong, leader of the Red Sunday group that organised the rally] was really stressed because he didn’t expect so many people to join and he was worried about people getting arrested if they blocked traffic on Ratchaprasong Intersection.

“Around noon it was quite clear that there would be more than 10,000 joining and the intersection would be blocked completely. The police finally allowed Sombat to use his own loudspeaker trucks to address and hopefully control the crowd, which he did perfecttly. The police finally allowed the crowd to flood the intersection and issued the order to the crowd to disperse by 8pm or else …

“The mood was truly jubilant and absolutely peaceful throughout the day. You could always find groups of people singing and dancing. No one down here was paid. Everyone came of their own free will without any strong leader calling them to get here. Many Reds now go with the slogan: ‘Everyone is his own leader’.

“The arguments of the elite that these are not real protests because the Red Shirts are nothing but a paid mob helping [deposed prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra is now completely proven to be wrong.

“The only thought that worries me is that now the elites will realise again that they will have no chance in any future free elections. As a result future elections might be even more of a dream now. Maybe even a coup by hardliners around the new military chief is more likely.

“We’ll see – we have to hope for the best. Only one thing is for sure, the Red Shirts will fight on!”

[Peter Boyle is national convenor of the Socialist Alliance of Australia, which supports the struggle for democracy in Thailand.]


Photo essay: Red Shirt resurgence in Thailand, Bangkok, September 19, 2010

Photos by Ooi Thai Delphi, CBN press (published with permission)






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