Anti-govt rallies: Where does the money come from? | Bangkok Post: learning

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Anti-govt rallies: Where does the money come from?

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About 500,000-1 million baht in cash donated each day by grassroots supporters since bank accounts frozen by DSI last month. 

Anti-government supporters donate to the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) at the march to Thon Buri on Tuesday. (Photo by Phrakrit Juntawong)


PDRC denies business link as war chest hits B50m


Paritta Wangkiat

The anti-government movement is not fed by big business but is mostly funded by public donations, the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) insists.

"We can survive today because of the help of the muan maha prachachon (great mass of people)," PDRC core member Sathit Wongnongtoey said.

"We don't receive financial support from big business companies as others claim." Critics say the PDRC is backed by big business figures and other influential people.

Some accuse the PDRC of receiving funding from those who have lost benefits under the so-called Thaksin regime.

PDRC spokesman Akanat Promphan dismissed the claims, saying the movement was being run by the grace of the people.

About 500,000-1 million baht is donated to the PDRC each day, all in cash, since PDRC bank accounts were frozen by the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) last month, he said.

The donations are much higher on days when PDRC secretary-general Suthep Thaugsuban marches from the Ratchadamnoen main stage to invite people to join his protest.

On Dec 19-20, he marched from Ratchadamnoen to Asok, Silom and Yaowarat where thousands of supporters handed money to him along the route.

About 12 million baht was given to the PDRC during the two-day march.

A total of more than 1.7 million baht in cash was handed to him during his Sunday march through the Ban Mor-Pahurad-Worachak community.

Taken from the first day of the protest at Samsen in November, the movement has raised about 50 million baht.

The Ratchadamnoen rally cost around 4-5 million baht a day, including stage organising, food and daily allowances for volunteers.

He said the cost for running the seven stages under the Bangkok shutdown plan on Jan 13 would be higher.

"If you ask if the donations are enough, they're enough though it's tough to fund everything," he said.

"We've been trying to economise. We don't use any [event] organisers to run our anti-government campaign. Sometimes PDRC leaders pay out of their own pockets first, but we will make it through."

In the early days of the rally, Mr Suthep sold and mortgaged his land to finance the movement. The PDRC also received donations from supporters through two bank accounts - the "Ratchadamnoen Kitchen account" and "Aid for People Affected by Demonstrations account" .

The first account paid for food. The second, with a 6-million-baht balance, was intended to pay for protesters who were hurt during the demonstrations.

After the accounts were seized, the PDRC managed to deliver 1 million baht to the families of two protesters who were killed - protester Wasu Suchantabut, and guard Yutthana Ong-art.

Wasu was shot on Dec 26 while taking part in the Network of Students and People for Thailand's Reform (NSPTR) protest to block attempts by parties to register candidates for the election.

Yutthana was killed in a pre-dawn gun attack on Dec 28 at a protest site at Chamai Maruchet Bridge.

The PDRC will give another 1 million baht to the family of Pol Snr Sgt Maj Narong Pitisit, who was killed during a skirmish between protesters and riot police at the Thai-Japanese Stadium on Dec 26.

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account: bank account; money kept in a bank - บัญชี

accuse: to say that someone has done something wrong or committed a crime - กล่าวหา

allowance: an amount of money that someone receives in order to pay for the things that they need - เงินสนับสนุน

anti: against - ตรงกันข้าม, ต้าน

attempt: when a person tries to do something or achieve some goal, makes an effort to do it - ความพยายาม

back: to support - ให้การสนับสนุน

balance: the amount of money available to be used in an account - bank account balance ยอดเงินเหลือของเงินฝากธนาคาร

benefit: an advantage you get from a situation; a helpful or good effect, or something intended to help - ผลประโยชน์, ข้อได้เปรียบ, ผลดี

block: to stop something from being done or from succeeding - ปิด, กีดขวาง

campaign: a planned group of especially political, business or military activities which are intended to achieve a particular aim - การรณรงค์

candidate: a person who is trying to be elected - ผู้สมัครรับเลือกตั้ง

cash: money in the form of notes or coins - เงินสด

claim: saying that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it - ข้ออ้าง ข้อกล่าวหา

committee: a group of people who are chosen, usually by a larger group, to make decisions or to deal with a particular subject - คณะกรรมการ

community: the people living in one particular area - ชุมชน

core: the most active or most important members of a group - แกนนำ

critic: a person who expresses disapproval of somebody/something and talks about their bad qualities, especially publicly - ผู้วิจารณ์, ผู้จับผิด, ผู้วิเคราะห์

daily: happening, done or produced every day - แต่ละวัน, ทุกวัน

dawn: the beginning of the day, when it begins to get light - รุ่งอรุณ, เช้าตรู่

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

dismiss: to refuse to accept that something might be true or important - ไม่สนใจ,แย้งกลับ

donate: to give something such as money or goods to an organisation, especially to a temple, charity, school, political party, etc. - บริจาค

donation: money or goods that you give to an organisation, especially one that helps people - เงินหรือสิ่งของบริจาค

election (n): the process of choosing a person or a group of person for a position, especially by voting - การเลือกตั้ง

figure: someone who is important in some way - บุคคลสำคัญ

financial support: help with money - ความช่วยเหลือทางการเงิน

frozen assets: things owned by someone, especially money and property, that a court has ordered cannot be used by the owner until a final court decision has been made - การยึดหรือพิทักษ์ทรัพย์

funded: given money for a particular purpose - ได้รับเงินสนับสนุน

grace: kindness - ความกรุณา

influential: of a person or group who has the power to affect a situation - มีอิทธิพล

influential person: a person who has the power to affect a situation, especially in a bad way - ผู้มีอิทธิพล

insist: to keep saying very firmly that something is true - ยืนกราน ยืนยัน

intended: planned; wanted to happen - ที่ได้วางแผนไว้ ที่ตั้งใจให้เกิดขึ้น

invite: to ask somebody to come to a social event; to ask somebody formally to go somewhere or do something - เชิญ

managed to: in the end, did do something, but it was difficult and seemed not possible -

march: a walk by a large group of people to a place to protest about something - เดินแถว, เดินขบวน

mass: large amounts or numbers - ปริมาณมาก จำนวนมาก

member: a person, a country or an organization that has joined a particular group, club or team - สมาชิก

movement: a group of people who share the same aim and work together to achieve it - การเคลื่อนไหวเพื่อวัตถุประสงค์ทางการเมือง

organiser: an event organiser; a person or company that organises big events such as beauty contests -

party: a group of people who are doing something together such as travelling or visiting somewhere - คณะ, กลุ่ม

pay out of own pockets: when someone pays for something, rather than receiving money from others to pay for it -

pre-dawn: shortly before the beginning of the day, when it begins to get light -

protester: someone who shows that they disagree with something by standing somewhere, shouting, carrying signs, etc - ผู้ต่อต้าน, ผู้ประท้วง

public: the public; all people; the people in general - มหาชน, ประชาชน

raise (money): to collect money for something -

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

reform: a change that is intended to correct a situation that is wrong or unfair - การแก้ไข การปฏิรูป

regime: a government that controls a country - รัฐบาล

register: to put your name and other information on an official list in order to be allowed to do something, e.g., vote, study, stay in a hotel etc - ลงทะเบียน

riot police: police who are trained to deal with violent groups of people - ตำรวจปราบจราจล

route: the roads used to go from one place to another - เส้นทาง

secretary-general: the person who is in charge of the department that deals with the running of a large international or political organisation - เลขาธิการ, เลขาธิการใหญ่

seize: to take something using force - ยึด, จับกุม

shutdown: turning something off, so that it is not operating anymore -

site: a place where something is located - สถานที่

skirmish: a fight, especially a small or short one - การปะทะกันเล็กน้อย

so-called: used for saying that a particular word is usually used for referring to someone or something - ที่เป็นที่รู้กัน

spokesman: a person who speaks on behalf of a group or an organization - โฆษก

stadium: a large closed area of land with rows of seats around the sides and often with no roof which is used for sports events and musical performances - สนามกีฬาที่มีอัฒจันทร์โดยรอบ

stage: a raised area, usually in a theatre, etc. where actors, dancers, speakers etc. perform - เวที

supporter: a person who helps and supports a person, organization or idea - ผู้สนับสนุน

survive: to continue to exist - รอดพ้น

volunteer: to do some work without being paid - อาสาสมัคร

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