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Red Shirts Fight For and Against Political Systems, Not Individuals

On Saturday the UDD held a political school in Korat, the latest in a series of political education initiatives that the UDD has set up in its commitment to promote democratic participation.

Throughout the day, UDD co-leaders engaged with 2,000 local grassroots activists on the core beliefs and principles of the Red Shirt movement. While the day’s most pressing issues of amnesty for political prisoners and amending the constitution were discussed, the school focused on the movement’s long term goal of overcoming the amaat power structure that continues to undermine democracy in Thailand.

The amaat system is based on an old elite network of patronage  that survived the abolition of the absolute monarchy in 1932. It comprises Thailand’s old moneyed elites, military generals, and high-ranking civil servants.

UDD leader Tida Tawornseth explains,

The amaat system depends on military and economic power to protect the interests of the few. The system holds back economic and technological developments, and hinders social mobility. The amaat are stuck in the past.

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The Time is Now for a People’s Constitution in Thailand- UDD

A combined total of 10,000 Red Shirts gathered to learn and discuss the movement’s goals and progress during two political schools that were held in the Northeastern region of Isaan on Sunday and Monday. The seminars focused on the approaching opportunity for a people’s constitution which would spell a major victory, not only for the Red Shirt movement, but for the democratic future of Thailand.

UDD chairwoman Tida opened the political school in Ubon Ratchathani on Monday, Thailand’s Constitution Day, by highlighting the need for a constitution that is approved by the people.

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