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Pitak Siam » Red Shirts
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As Pitak Siam Falls Apart, Government Must Strengthen Democracy- UDD

The UDD leadership held a press conference after General Boonlert announced the end of the Pitak Siam rally shortly after 5pm on Saturday. The leadership urged Thai people to stand united behind Thailand’s democratically elected government and push forward with amending the constitution, achieving justice for the victims of 2010, and granting amnesty to political prisoners of all stripes.

While Pitak Siam had originally called for an unprecedented 1 million-strong rally, today’s estimated turn out was a modest 20,000 protesters. Tida pointed to the low figure as proof that the Thai people do not support the extreme right-wing movement and its stated mission of ousting the current Pheu Thai government.

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UDD Leaders Urge Red Shirts to Stay Disciplined and United

At an informal gathering today, UDD leaders spoke to Red Shirt activists about developments in Saturday’s Pitak Siam rally. They once again urged Red Shirts to stay away from the ongoing rally in Bangkok and thanked the police for their handling of the protests which have remained stable.

Most importantly, Red Shirts were urged to stay calm and steer clear of any situations that could lead to riots or violence.

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Pitak Siam and the NACC- UDD Lawyer Assesses Risk of Coup

UDD lawyer Robert Amsterdam posted an article on his blog outlining the threat of a coup by the Thai elites in light of this weekend’s rally by right-wing group Pitak Siam. Particular attention should be paid to paragraph discussing the powers of the Senate and the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to impeach the Prime Minister and other members of parliament:

As of its latest proclamation, the anti-democracy movement Pitak Siam stated that the goal of its November 24 demonstration in Bangkok is to force the elected government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to resign. Even Pitak Siam knows that a government elected by large margins less than eighteen months ago will not find a demonstration of (at best) a few tens of thousands of people a compelling enough reason to resign, especially given its robust majority in parliament and strong support in opinion polls. The idea that a small minority should trump the will of the majority of the electorate does not wash in twenty-first century Thailand. This is not your great-grandfather’s old Siam.

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UDD Calls on Red Shirts to Steer Clear of Pitak Siam

At the press conference earlier today, the UDD leadership reaffirmed that Red Shirts should stay away from Saturday’s rally by the anti-democratic organisation Pitak Siam, and pay close attention to UDD leaders Tida, Jatuporn, and Nattawut who could call on Red Shirts to gather if the situation deteriorates completely. 

In a press release issued today, the UDD states that the Pitak Siam rally is fundamentally anti-democratic, as it wants to overthrow the government that the majority of the Thai people voted into power through the democratic process.

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Red Shirts to Monitor Pitak Siam Rally

After an appeal to the international community in Bangkok to closely monitor the Pitak Siam rally on the 24th of November was issued by the UDD earlier this week, Red Shirt lawyer Robert Amsterdam published the following statement on his website:

Following a visit to Thailand by U.S. President Barack Obama in which he expressed support for the democratically elected government of Yingluck Shinawatra, Red Shirt groups are announcing plans to monitor and expose the financial supporters of an upcoming march against democracy by an extremist group backed by the Democrat Party.

According to Robert Amsterdam, lawyer to the Red Shirt group United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), this evidence gathering will also extend to any acts of violence, threats of violence and any other criminal enterprise associated with the anti-democratic extremists and its backers. (more…)

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Hands Off Our Democracy- Red Shirts Send Message to Pitak Siam

Over the weekend, Red Shirts gathered in numbers first in Khon Kaen on Friday, and then in Bang Pla, outside of Bangkok, on Sunday. At both rallies, over 30,000 activists listened to UDD leaders discuss the rising threat of a coup d’état as the anti-government rally by Pitak Siam on November 24th approaches.

The main message from the leadership was that, while the Red Shirts should stay away from the Pitak Siam rally next weekend, they should be prepared to protest in the case of a real threat to Thailand’s democracy.

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All Eyes on Pitak Siam Rally- An Open Letter to the International Community

The UDD has sent the following letter to foreign ambassadors in Bangkok, outlining the threat to democracy posed by the upcoming Pitak Siam rally on the 24th of November.

In the letter, UDD leader Tida urges the international community to pay attention to the Pitak Siam rally and asks individual governments to condemn any potential efforts to topple Thailand’s current, democratically elected, government. 

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Government Must Act Now on ICC – UDD Leadership

On Friday, the UDD leadership sent a resounding message to the Pheu Thai government: act now on the International Criminal Court (ICC), or risk facing another coup on your own. One after another, Red Shirt leaders called on Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul to issue the 12(3) declaration that would grant the ICC ad hoc jurisdiction to begin a preliminary examination of evidence regarding alleged crimes of humanity committed during April-May 2010.

ICC Chief Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, stated during her visit to Bangkok last week that, if given the green light by the government, the ICC will initiate a preliminary examination of the events to determine whether to proceed with an investigation. Over a week later, the government has yet to show any signs of progress, fueling the growing frustration among Red Shirts.

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