On Wednesday, up to 20,000 Red Shirts gathered by Democracy Monument in Bangkok for a rally organised by the UDD in honour of those who died during the brutal and illegal military crackdown of Red Shirt protests on April 10th 2010.
The rally started off with a procession of street performers and Red Shirts representing different regions of Thailand, heading from the Royal Hotel to Democracy Monument. In the afternoon, Buddhist monks led the UDD leadership and the crowd through a Buddhist ceremony in honour of the victims. The rally also featured an exhibition of photos and videos taken during the crackdown, as well as speeches by regional and national UDD leaders.
Former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra also spoke to the crowd via a webcast. He offered his condolences to the families of the victims, and joined the UDD leadership in saying that the brutal suppression of pro-democratic forces must never again be allowed to take place in Thailand.
For an outline of what happened on April 10th 2010, visit the Thai Accountability Project.
See below for a selection of pictures of the event.
Hundreds of Red Shirt activists arrived early at Democracy Monument.
Red Shirt procession from Royal Hotel starting to arrive at Democracy Monument.
Red Shirt who took part in the procession.
Parade performer dressed in Red wings.
Red Shirt families taking part in the procession.
Red Shirts march in honour of Japanese Reuters cameraman Hiroyuki Muramoto, who was killed on April 10th 2010.
Dozens of monks held a Buddhist ceremony in honor of the dead.
Monks leading ceremony to honor the dead.
UDD leadership takes part in Buddhist ceremony led by monks, in front of pictures of the victims of the brutal military crackdown on April 10th 2010.
A group of Red Shirts protests the double standards in the judicial system and call for the release of all political prisoners.
Red Shirt taking part in symbolic protest against the Thai justice system.
Red Shirt artist dramatising the death of Reuters cameraman Hiroyuki Muramoto.
A group of Red Shirts rests in the summer heat at Democracy Monument.
Red Shirts at Democracy Monument.
Red origami birds flew above as symbols of freedom.
White origami birds flew above in honor of the victims of the military crackdown on April 10th 2010.
The Thai translation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) was available for purchase at the rally. Red Shirts are campaigning for the government to recognise the jurisdiction of the ICC in order to launch an investigation into the deaths of Red Shirt protestors in 2010.
Man next to “Free Somyot” banner. Somyot, a prominent Red Shirt activist, has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for alleged violation of Thailand’s lèse majesté law because of 2 articles that were published in a magazine for which he was the acting editor.
A group of Red Shirts marched in protest of Thailand’s lèse majesté law, manifested in article 112 of the criminal code. Protestors in the photo are wearing paper cutouts of Somyot’s face.
Rally attendees viewing a photo exhibition showing the victims.
Red Shirts and curious onlookers check out a photo collage depicting the military crackdown in 2010.
Police were present at the rally to ensure safety and order.
Dr Weng addresses the rally crowd and the victim’s families.
Red Shirts started filling up the area toward the evening, when many had joined the rally after work.
Crowd at the Red Shirt rally.