On the 22nd of September 2013, 3,000 Red Shirt participants attended the “20th UDD Democracy School – Introduction Class” at Jom Thong Wittayakom School in Jom Thong District, Chiang Mai. Various UDD co-leaders and lecturers were there to provide lessons and updates on the democratic movement and the current political situation in Thailand including President of the UDD, Assoc. Prof. Tida Tavonseth, former Member of Parliament, Mr. Jatuporn Prompan, current Pheu Thai MPs, Dr. Weng Tojilakarn and Mr. Worachai Hema, People’s Power MP, Nisit Sinthuprai and many other academics from the UDD central headquarters and the region itself.
The 20th UDD Democracy School is the UDD’s second tour in Chiang Mai following a successful turnout in the province on 2012 and it is the first time for such a school to repeat its course of study in the same province due to the vast size of the region. The 21st UDD’s political school will also be held in Chiang Mai at another district on September 29th 2013. The event is located at Prathart Doi Saket Temple in Doi Saket District, Chiang Mai.
While the concept of “political schools” may have negative implications for some, in this case, it is to some extent similar to a political party convention. Much like party conventions, the UDD’s political schools are important venues for the exchange of ideas between the movement’s leadership and grassroots activists. They also serve to build strong local Red Shirt organizations based on the building of future regional co-leaders (i.e. the students) that are vital to the movement’s long-term success of promoting democratic values in Thailand.
Apart from outlining the movement’s core and present principles, goals, and strategies to the supporters, the speakers also delved into the history of democratic action in Thailand, the current political vibe and the organization’s progress in pursuing its immediate goals of 1) Amnesty Bill, 2) Constitutional Amendment and 3) Justice for the fallen brothers and sisters of the 2010 violence military crackdown.
As usual, in addition to the lessons, there is entertainment throughout the day. This serves as a promotion of the local culture and keeps the participants engaged during the six long hours of lessons and speeches by academics and UDD co-leaders. At this venue, the participants enjoyed the performances from the Mong tribes and the local traditional Lanna dancing called “Fon Jung”.
For more information on the political schools please use the contact form at http://thairedshirts.org/contact-us/ to contact TRS or email us at email@example.com.