(Updated May 21) Thailand: International left solidarity with the democracy movement

Image removed.
Photo by Lee Yu Kyung, Bangkok.

Statements by the New Anti-Capitalist Party of France, Socialist Alliance of Australia, the Socialist Party of Malaysia, the Fourth International, Focus on Global South, Australia Asia Worker Links. See also Asia-Pacific left statement -- `Resolve crisis through democracy, not crackdown!', by Asian left and progressive organisations.

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New Anti-Capitalist Party: Stop repression in Thailand

By the New Anti-Capitalist Party/Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste (NPA), France

May 19, 2010 -- Despite the repeated demands of the leaders of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) to negotiate a truce, the Abhivit Vejjajiva government deployed military tanks “to clean” the Rachaprasong district and gave the order to the army to shoot the Red Shirts who have been occupying a part of Bangkok. Repression has thus further escalated.

Already these past days, the snipers and the military were responsible for dozens of deaths.

The Red Shirts have been demanding for new elections and for the resignation of the prime minister, put in place in December 2008 owing to a reversal of the parliament alliance organised by the military. The government thus chose to crush all democratic protests against the elite in power.

To avoid more bloodshed and deaths, leaders of the RedShirts decided to stop fighting and to surrender.

The NPA (France), in solidarity with the Thai toiling masses, condemns the repression that is now going on and demands the stop of military intervention against the Red Shirts.

The imposition of the curfew upon Thai society will, like a lead weight, stifle democratic freedoms.

The assassination of demonstrators asking for justice and the respect of democracy is in no way a solution to this political conflict.

We call for international solidarity in defence of the Red Shirts and their leaders to protect them from state vengeance which could put their lives in danger.

New Anti-Capitalist Party: `Stop immediately the army’s intervention!'

By the New Anti-Capitalist Party, France

May 17, 2010 -- Repression in Thailand has taken a dramatic turn. For four days now, the army has been attacking the Red Shirts who have occupied the business district of Bangkok, demanding social justice and democracy. Though impossible to know the exact number of victims, at least fifty demonstrators have already been killed. Snipers even went into action as shown by the fate of Sae Deng, security chief of the Red Shirts, who received a shot in the head while being interviewed by a journalist.

With the centre of Bangkok in a state of siege, the Thai crisis reached today a point of no return. While signs appear of the Royal Palace’s crisis of succession and with the present regime’s total loss of legitimacy, it is to be feared that the government of Abhisit Vejjajiva, the military, the bureaucratic elite and the monarchy will do anything to take back the control over the situation. A bloodbath can no longer be excluded.

The New Anticapitalist Party [Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste (NPA), France] is keen in affirming its solidarity with the workers, peasants and the urban poor, who form the bulk of the Red Shirts’ demonstrators. It salutes the determination that they have shown. It calls on all progressive forces in France to demand together an immediate stop of the army’s intervention, the end of all censure of information, the respect of the right to organise, to strike and to demonstrate. Facing this emergency, international solidarity should be reaffirmed without delay.

New Anti-Capitalist Party
Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste (NPA), France
Le 17 mai 2010

Rudd government must cut ties with Thai regime! Stop the slaughter of protesters!

By Socialist Alliance, Australia

May 19, 2010 -- “The Rudd government should immediately pressure the Thai regime to send its rampaging military back to the barracks and stop slaughtering Red Shirt protesters and innocent bystanders in Bangkok by immediately suspending diplomatic ties with Thailand”, Rachel Evans, Socialist Alliance lead Senate candidate for New South Wales, said today.

“After scores killed and at least 2000 injured since April the situation in Bangkok is shaping up as another Tiananmen Square massacre—Australia cannot just stand by and watch tragedy unfold.

“The Rudd government must act against this blood-stained regime, which has sent snipers and assassination squads into the centre of Bangkok to kill unarmed civilians in their ‘live firing zone’.”

The Socialist Alliance spokesperson stressed that Australian trade with Thailand gave Canberra a lot of leverage over the unelected regime of Abhisit Vejjajiva. “Thailand is Australia’s eighth biggest trading partner—Canberra should threaten immediate suspension of economic, political and diplomatic ties.”

Evans said: “The Australian government should tell Bangkok that it will suspend diplomatic ties until the Abhisit regime agrees to submit itself to the test of a general election.

“The Abhisit regime is only in power because the army and the judiciary have repeatedly frustrated democratic processes since the 2006 coup against the elected caretaker government of Thaksin Shinawatra.

“For years the Thai military, business and judicial elites have used their power to exploit and repress the majority. Before today, they shot down pro-democracy demonstrators in 1973, 1976, 1992 and 2009.”

Evans concluded: “The Socialist Alliance stands in solidarity with the Red Shirt fighters for democracy in Thailand. We call on the Rudd government, and all other Australian political forces, to support people who are struggling and dying for the democratic rights we take for granted in this country.”

Thailand: End violent assaults on Red Shirt protesters! Ahbisit must resign and elections now!

By the Socialist Party of Malaysia

May 15, 2010 -- The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) condemns Ahbisit Vejjajiva's government and the military of Thailand for the latest round of violent assaults on pro-democracy Red Shirt protesters in Bangkok.

The military-installed Ahbisit government launched its recent attacks on pro-democracy Red Shirt protesters beginning May 13, 2010, but cutting of basic supplies to the protesters’ camp and firing live rounds has left at least 50 people dead and scores injured. Such harsh action taken by Ahbisit’s government following the bloody crackdown on April 10, 2010, shows that Ahbisit’s “road map” for reconciliation is flawed and that he has no intention of restoring democracy in Thailand.

Red Shirt pro-democracy protesters converged on Bangkok on March 14, 2010, and have continued until today because of the refusal of the military-backed Ahbisit government to resign and hold fresh elections. Twenty-five people were killed and hundreds injured on April 10, 2010, when troops tried to clear protesters in Bangkok. Violence continues in Thailand as the unelected government continues to rule. Royalist Yellow Shirts have also threatened to resume their fascistic protests and support the use of repressive laws and violence against the pro-democracy movement.

Ahbisit, who came into power through a fascist and judicial coup, must be held responsible for all the lives lost in the clashes and resign immediately. Further repression would not stop the ongoing conflict.

The Red Shirt pro-democracy movement has grown into the largest democratic movement in the history of Thailand and has shaken the power structure of the ruling elite, especially the royalists.

The class struggle in Thailand has been intensified yet the challenge ahead is tremendous. If the Thai pro-democracy movement can overthrow oligarchic rule through massive mobilisation from below and not through another military coup, it will be a great step forward for the Thai people in the task of building a real democracy with social justice based on people's power.

The PSM reiterates its stand in supporting the mass pro-democracy movement of the Red Shirts in Thailand in their struggle for democracy and justice.

PSM calls for:

The immediate resignation of the military-installed Ahbisit government and the holding of fresh democratic elections.

Lifting of emergency in Bangkok and 16 other provinces, withdrawal of all troops and restoration of civilian rule.

A halt to all forms of violent crackdown and blockade against Red Shirt protesters. Respect the right of the people to organise, to protest and to strike.

Bringing all Thai people together in an effort to solve political and socioeconomic problems, recognising that such efforts must stem from the power of the people.

Released by
Choo Chon Kai, International Bureau,
Socialist Party of Malaysia/Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)

Fourth International: Repression against the Red Shirts must cease immediately! Stop the assassinations! Abhisit Resign!

By the Bureau of the Fourth International

May 17, 2010 -- For five days the soldiers have been organising a new “black May” in Thailand. The Abhisit Vejjajiva government has sent the troops to shoot with live ammunition at unarmed demonstrators and authorised snipers in ambush to assassinate its opponents, as in the case of general Sae Deng.

In order to justify what is unjustifiable, the government has accused some of the demonstrators of “terrorism” and organised a disgraceful blockade of the Rachaprasong district; water and electricity have been cut. Supplies cannot get through to the demonstrators. Radio and TV transmissions in the district have been stopped. These “terrorists” are thousands of men, women and children, ordinary people who are fighting against rulng-class justice in Thailand and for the re-establishment of democracy. Their watchword: resignation of Abhisit, who has no legitimacy because his government was put in place by the army when parliamentary alliances changed in December 2008.

If Abhisit were legitimate, he would have agreed to the request of the Red Shirts to respect the verdict of the ballot boxes. Instead of that he is showing his political weakness. He is trying to silence dissident voices by censorship and repression. His only chance of staying in power lies in the ability of the army to break the Redshirts movement by violence and repression. More than 65 people have been killed since the beginning of April and the violence continues.

Abhisit must resign immediately and account to the courts for the deaths for which he is the primary person responsible. Negotiations must open with the Red Shirts representatives to organise the dissolution of the parliament and hold elections as soon as possible.

The Fourth International salutes the courage of the Red Shirts who have been waging an exemplary fight for several weeks and are now suffering the attacks of the army. It stands resolutely at their side.

[The Fourth International is an international organisation struggling for the socialist revolution. It is composed of sections, of militants who accept and apply its principles and program. Organised in separate national sections, they are united in a single worldwide organisation acting together on the main political questions, and discussing freely while respecting the rules of democracy.]

Suppression of dissent and resultant violence cannot resolve conflicts: The Thai government and UDD must urgently return to the negotiating table

Statement from Focus on the Global South

May 17, 2010 -- The steps taken by the Thai Government in the past week, especially after the failure of the five-steps reconciliation proposal to gain acceptance by the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), are totally unacceptable. The Government must take full responsibility for the deaths and injuries that ensued. Violence, suppression of dissent, and the violation of peoples’ civil and political rights, including coup d’etats, cannot resolve the conflicts that have gripped Thai society. The use of weapons of war, whether by the Government or by all other parties, which amounts to abusing the lives of fellow human beings for political gains, must be unequivocally condemned.

Focus on the Global South joins several Thai civil society members in strongly calling that:

1) the Thai Government immediately stop firing at people and pull back all of its armed personnel from all the conflict zones, unconditionally;

2) the UDD leaders call all their members and supporters back to the main camp and refrain from all violent means of demonstration;

3) both the Government and the UDD agree without any delay to return to the negotiation process with full commitment to serving the interests of all Thai society, rather than selected factions or groups, as the basis for negotiations;

4) the Thai Government’s commitment in these negotiations be no less than the five-steps reconciliation proposal which the Government announced to the Thai public and international community;

5) all the parties involved in causing deaths and injuries in the past 2 months assume responsibility for their actions and submit themselves equally to judicial processes, and;

6) the Government and UDD accept the presence of national-international human rights monitors to monitor peaceful resolution of the current conflicts, including the new elections;

Political differences should not be used by any side to foment hatred. We urge the Thai Government and all members of Thai society to commit to peace and equity as non-negotiable principles in the resolution of all conflicts.

Soldiers: Don't shoot! No to Abhisit! No to Thaksin! Yes to workers' government!

By Australia Asia Worker Links

April 30, 2010 -- This is a time of crisis for workers in Thailand. The Abhisit government must go.
To achieve democratic rights and economic justice the working people of Thailand have to defeat the Abhisit government and the Thai army. But replacing the current government with Thaksin or with a general who switches sides will not change the economic conditions of exploitation imposed by capitalist companies operating in Thailand. Workers can resolve this situation if they intervene as an organised workers' movement.

Only direct democratic control of workplaces and communities by assemblies of working people can begin to restructure the economy in favour of the great majority of the population.
All workers in the region and globally must support protest actions and international industrial action and solidarity to assist workers in Thailand.

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[Australia Asia Worker Links. PO Box 45, Carlton South, Victoria 3053, Australia. Tel: (61 3) 9663 7277. Email: aawl@aawl.org.au. Web: http://www.aawl.org.au.]