We republish here the joint statement of dozens of socialist parties and worker organisations regarding the mass movement in Thailand against monarchical authoritarianism and the militarist regime of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha.
A growing wave of student-initiated pro-democracy protests have been sweeping Thailand since February. They have united a new generation of activists with former Red Shirts and even some disaffected people from the Yellow Shirt movement demanding: firstly, the resignation of the Prayut regime and new, free and fair elections; secondly, democratic constitutional changes; thirdly, reforms to put the monarchy under the rule of law, curb its privileges, and end the use of the draconian lese-majeste laws to silence dissent.
Former general and current Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha declared a ‘severe’ state of emergency on 15 October which bans gatherings of more than five people and the ‘publication of news, other media, and electronic information that contains messages that could create fear or intentionally distort information, creating misunderstanding that will affect national security or peace and order.’
Following this, police and military were sent in to violently disperse the protesters. Police attacks on this latest protest began on the evening of 13 October when democracy activists arrived in Bangkok from the poor north-east of the country and set up makeshift shelters on street corners. The police tore down these shelters and about 20 people were arrested.
The police also staged pre-dawn raid on 15 October to disperse the protesters at the Government Building.
Several leading movement activists have been arrested and there are serious concerns about further repression.
We stand in solidarity with the protest movement in Thailand and demand:
- An immediate lifting of the ‘state of emergency’ and respect for the right of the people to protest.
- Immediate release of the pro-democracy movement activists and all political prisoners
- An end to the military-dominated rule and for free and fair elections for a democratic government
- Democratic constitutional change
- Abolish feudal powers and stop the use of repressive laws including the lese-majeste laws to silence dissent.
Signed by: Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM), Philippines | Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM), Malaysia | North South Initiative, Malaysia | Sedane Labour Resource Centre (LIPS), Indonesia | Working People’s Party (PRP), Indonesia | Socialist Alliance, Australia | Federation of Karya Utama Union (FSBKU), Indonesia | Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation, India | BMP (Solidarity of Filipino Workers), Philippines | Sanlakas, Philippines | Partai Rakyat Demokratik (PRD), Indonesia | SPERBUPAS GSBI PT. Panarub Industri, Indonesia | Indonesia for Global Justice (IGJ), Indonesia | Laban ng Masa, Philippines | Socialist Alternative, Australia | Haqqoq Khalq Movement (Peoples Rights Movement), Pakistan | Yubaraj Chaulagain – Central Committee Member – Nepal Communist Party | Borderless Movement, Hong Kong | Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee (Pakistan Peasants Coordination Committee), Pakistan | Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security, United States | Heinz Bierbaum, President of the Party of the European Left (EL) | Finnish Asiatic Society, Finland | Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) | Myanmar Youth Foundation for Peace