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Civil disobedience. What is it?

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Democrat rally leader Suthep Thuagsuban last night called on the people to use "civil disobedience" in their fight against the Yingluck government and it's controversial blanket amnesty bill. What did he mean? 

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Democrat rally leader Suthep Thuagsuban, together with eight party colleagues who are resigning their positions as MPs, asks the crowd to join them in acts of civil disobedience. PATTARACHAI PREECHAPANICH

Update: The problem with acts of civil disobedience is that they are often against the law and the people who call for illegal acts can be prosecuted as well. Now, the DSI is looking into the actions of the nine Democrat MPs who resigned this morning. Calling for companies to delay paying taxes is getting special attention.

What is civil disobedience?

Democrat rally leader Suthep Thuagsuban last night called for the people to use "civil disobedience" in their fight against the Yingluck government and it's controversial blanket amnesty bill. That bill was voted down by the Senate yesterday, but it can technically be revived in 180 days.

According to Wikipedia, "civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal to obey certain laws, demands, and commands of a government, or of an occupying international power. Civil disobedience is commonly, though not always, defined as being nonviolent resistance. In one view (in India, known as ahimsa or satyagraha) it could be said that it is compassion in the form of respectful disagreement."

Certainly declaring a public area like Democracy Monument and Ratchadamnoen Avenue as your protest base must be an act of civil disobedience, especially since the area is within the boundaries covered by the government's Internal Security Act (ISA) where large gatherings are not allowed.

Here, from this morning's Bangkok Post, is a description of four measures Mr Suthep called for at last night's rally. Which of them seem to be clear examples of civil disobedience?

Mr Suthep said protest leaders had agreed they will escalate their demonstrations by urging civil disobedience nationwide, including four measures.

He urged employees at private companies and government officials to stop working between tomorrow and Friday and join the demonstrations at the protest venues in their respective provinces, or at least to slow down the pace of their work.

He also called on teachers to cancel classes and students not to attend them at schools and universities nationwide during the three-day period.

Mr Suthep asked private companies to delay paying taxes and for companies to fly national flags at their offices, and for people to carry national flags and whistles wherever they go in a symbolic fight against the government.

As for the fourth measure, Mr Suthep said that if people meet Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, her cabinet ministers and their "sidekicks" , they must refuse to talk to them and blow their whistles at them instead.

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Vocabulary:

amnesty: a situation in which a government agrees not to punish, or to no longer punish, people who have committed a particular crime - การนิรโทษกรรม

base: a place from where an activity can be planned or controlled - ฐาน, ฐานที่มั่น

bill: a proposal for a law - ร่างกฎหมาย

blanket: affecting or aimed at everyone or everything equally, even when this is not sensible or fair - ครอบคลุม, กว้าง

boundary: a real or imagined line that marks the edge or limit of something - เขตแดน,เส้นแบ่งเขต

cabinet minister: a member of the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy - รัฐมนตรี

civil disobedience: a form of political protest in which large numbers of people refuse to obey a law - อารยะขัดขืน

colleague: someone who works in the same organisation or department as you do - เพื่อนร่วมงาน

command: an order - คำสั่ง

compassion: a strong feeling of sympathy and sadness for the suffering or bad luck of others and a wish to help them - ความเห็นใจ, ความรู้สึกเศร้าใจไปกับความทุกข์ของผู้อื่น

controversial: causing disagreement or disapproval - ซึ่งก่อให้เกิดการโต้แย้ง

declare: to announce officially - ประกาศ

delay: to do something later than is planned or expected; to cause something to happen at a later time - เลื่อน, เลื่อนเวลา

demand: a very firm request for something - ข้อเรียกร้อง, การเรียกร้อง

demonstration: an occasion when a group of people gather together to support or protest about something - การชุมนุม

disagreement: a situation where people have different opinions about something and often argue - ความขัดแย้งกัน, ความคิดเห็นไม่ตรงกัน, ความไม่เห็นด้วย

employee: someone who is paid regularly to work for a person or an organisation - ลูกจ้าง

escalate: to make something increase in amount or strength; to make larger; to scale up; to ramp up - ยกระดับ; เสริม

gathering: an occasion when many people come together as a group - การรวมตัว, การประชุม

illegal: against the law - ผิดกฎหมาย, นอกกฎหมาย

Internal Security Act (ISA): a special law which allows the country's top security agency, the Internal Security Operations Command, to impose curfews, operate checkpoints and restrict the movement of demonstrators Under the act, the military has the authority to search protesters for weapons and use force in case of any violence. - พรบ.ความมั่นคง

measure: an action taken to solve a particular problem - มาตรการ

monument: a statue or building that is built to honour a special person or event - อนุสาวรีย์ หรืออนุสรณ์สถาน

nationwide: throughout a whole country - ทั่วทั้งประเทศ

non-violent, nonviolent: using peaceful methods, not force, to bring about political or social change - ไม่รุนแรง

occupy: to be in control of a place that you have entered in a group using force - เข้าครอบครอง

pace: the speed at which something happens or is done - อัตรา

private: involving groups, businesses or industries that are not owned or controlled by the government - เอกชน

profess: to state openly that you have a particular belief, feeling, etc. - ปฏิญาณตน, ยืนยัน

prosecute: to officially accuse someone of a crime and to try to prove them guilty in a court of law - ดำเนินคดี ฟ้องร้อง ซักฟอก

protest: a strong complaint or disagreement - การประท้วง

public: open to people in general - สาธารณะ

rally: a large public gathering of people to support someone or to protest against something - การชุมนุม

refusal: an act of saying or showing that you will not do, give or accept something - คำปฏิเสธ, การปฏิเสธ

resign: to leave a job permanently - ลาออกจากตำแหน่ง

resistance: a refusal to accept something or allow it to happen - การต่อต้าน, การขัดขืน

respectful: feeling or showing respect - ซึ่งมีความเคารพ

respective: belonging or relating separately to each of the people or things already mentioned - เกี่ยวกับแต่ละบุคคลหรือแต่ละสิ่ง,โดยลำดับ

revive: to come or bring something back to existence or use - ฟื้นฟู, ทำให้เกิดขึ้นอีก

sidekick: a person who helps another more important or more intelligent person - เพื่อนร่วมงาน

symbolic: representing something important, but in this case, not the real thing - เป็นสัญญาณ เป็นสัญลักษณ์

technically: according to an exact understanding of rules, facts, etc. -

urge: to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take - ผลักดัน, กระตุ้น

venue: a place where a public event or meeting takes place - สถานที่ชุมนุม

whistle: a small metal or plastic tube that you blow to make a loud high sound, used to attract attention or as a signal - นกหวีด

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