(Updated) Busy protest day
published : 4 Nov 2013 at 07:51
writer: Terry Fredrickson
As night falls, the Democrats are at Democracy Monument after marching most of the day; the Uruphong protest site has been reinforced and a network of business people has held a huge rally in the Silom area – all opposing the Phue Thai amnesty bill.
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Tuesday morning update
Very few protesters stayed overnight at the Democracy Monument site, but activites are expected to start about noon when the crowd will increase. Police and city representatives met with protest leaders and worked out an arrangement to keep traffic moving in the area – at least during the day before the expected large crowd arrives.
Meanwhile, at the Uruphong rally, leaders there say there will be movement on November 7, but, like the Democrats yesterday, they didn't say where they would be going.
End of a long day
The Democrats have decided not to return to their cramped base near the Samsen Railway station. Instead, they have set up camp at a much more impressive, more historical site – Democracy Monument on Ratchadamnoen Avenue. All day long, rally leader Suthep Thuagsuban has been quite secretive about what he has planned, so expect some surprises when he takes the stage in the next few minutes.
Joining the "bandwagon"
Today's word should be "bandwagon". It refers to an activity that more and more people are becoming involved in and which seems fashionable or trendy at the moment. When more and more people join in, they are said to "climb/jump on the bandwagon".
The bandwagon here in Thailand, of course, is the growing opposition to the blanket amnesty bill recently passed by the Phue Thai MPs in parliament. The bandwagon is led by the opposition Democrats as well as civic groups based at the Uruphong intersection.
Just today, however, many more have climbed on this bandwagon. This morning at Thammasat University, more than 700 lecturers, students and staff issued a statement reaffirming the university's stand against the amnesty bill.
During the lunch hour, members of the Businessmen for Democracy Club and the Green Silom Business Group led by Somkiat Homla-or gathered near the Sala Daeng BTS train station to show their determination to promote a clean democracy and protect the royal institution.
Wednesday it will be Chulalongkorn University's turn to rally against the amnesty bill. Mahidol University academics, staff and students say they will walk to the Uruphong rally that day as well.
This photo from the Silom rally gives you a sense of the size of the crowd. PHRAKRIT JUNTAWONG
The size and enthusiasm of the Silom "mob," ("crowd" in English) caught organisers by surprise. PATTARACHAI PREECHAPANICH
Organisers of the Silom anti-blanket amnesty "whistle" event said they expected 2 - 3 thousand people. Instead, it appears they may have got 10 times that many. They say they will try again for an even bigger event this Wednesday.
Finally, an announcement of the destination of the march. It's Wat Phra Kaew, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. That should make for some good photos, a lot better than the Parliament or Government House, which it appears government leaders, thought would be today's target.
Rachadamnoen Avenue is a sea of umbrellas as Democrat marchers try to find some relief from the sun. Meanwhile, Silom is full with people awaiting the whistle blowing event scheduled for 12:34. Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva is among the Silom crowd.
The march has now stopped temporarily near Suphan Khaaw on the way to Ratchadamnoen on the way to Aunusorn Sathan October 14 and then Democracy monument. Leaders are being quite secretive about each destination.
The Democrat's started their march on time at 10:00am and are now nearing Uruphong to show solidarity with the protesters there. The procession is a long one and those interviewed by the Democrat's Blue Sky TV estimate the numbers as between 30,000 to 100,000. Police are likely to have a lower estimate but it is still a substantial crowd for a Monday morning. Blue Sky is broadcasting live on the web.
About 2,000 protesters from the Dhamma Army and the People’s Democratic Force to Overthrow Thaksinism march from Lumpini Park to the Uruphong rally site where they join forces with the Network of Students and People for Reform of Thailand to scale up the protest. PATIPAT JANTHONG
Business groups to hit streets against amnesty
The Democrat Party will lead a march of opponents to the government's blanket amnesty bill from Samsen railway station across Bangkok today in a stepped up campaign against the law change.
Democrat heavyweight Suthep Thaugsuban declined to identify the destinations of the march but a well-placed party source said the move, which will begin at 10am, is aimed at paralysing traffic in the capital to press for an end to the bill.
The strategy comes as the rally at the Uruphong intersection is shaping up as a new focal point of opposition to the bill, after protesters agreed yesterday to let an anti-Thaksin coalition of civic groups take the lead in their campaign.
Attention is also focused on Silom today with business groups coming out onto the streets to air their opposition to the bill.
With only 1,000 protesters in attendance at the beginning, the rally at Uruphong, which was engineered by the Network of Students and People for Reform of Thailand, is gathering pace. Now there are at least 3,000 people at the anti-government demonstrations since the Dhamma Army and the People's Democratic Force to Overthrow Thaksinism (Pefot) joined them from Lumpini Park.
The groups decided to unite and work out future action under the leadership of a coalition, which has yet to be formally named, and comprises civic groups from 77 provinces. The Dhamma Army has close connections with Chamlong Srimuang. The groups also agreed to give leadership to Somkiat Pongpaiboon, a key figure of the coalition, they said.
Uruphong protest leader Nitithorn Lamlua welcomed the decision for unification as all groups shared the same goal to oust the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
Mr Somkiat and Suriyasai Katasila announced the decision to close the Lumpini rally site to their supporters.
Democrat list-MP Korn Chatikavanij posted a message on his Facebook page yesterday urging people in the business area of Silom to blow whistles to oppose the amnesty bill today at 12.34pm.
Mana Nimitmongkol, director of the Anti-Corruption Organisation of Thailand, said a network of businessmen will rally to mobilise white-collar employees in the Silom area against the bill, with about 10,000 whistles to be handed out to participants.
Seventy families of royal descendants from past monarchs of the Chakri Dynasty yesterday also voiced opposition to the amnesty bill.
Maj Gen M C Chulacherm Yukol said the 70 royal families agreed at a meeting yesterday the blanket amnesty bill was flawed and the government should not submit the legislation, if approved by the Senate, to His Majesty the King for royal endorsement.
A group of 578 lecturers of Thammasat University yesterday also issued an open letter opposing the amnesty bill and calling on the Senate to reject it.
Meanwhile, the Democrat Party will begin its nationwide campaign against the bill today, starting in Phetchaburi, said Alongkorn Ponlaboot, a deputy party leader.
Mr Alongkorn called for the Senate to reject the amnesty bill, which has been passed by the House of Representatives.
A petition will also be filed with the Constitutional Court to rule on the constitutionality of the bill.
The Democrat Party will also file a no-confidence complaint against the government, which has damaged the country's credibility in its administration, he said.
Learn from listening
- academic: someone who teaches at a college, or who studies as part of their job - นักวิชาการ
- administration: the process or act of organising the way that something is done - การบริหาร
- aim: to have as your purpose or goal - มีเป้าหมาย มีจุดมุ่งหมาย
- air: to make known - เปิดเผย, ประกาศ
- amnesty (noun): a situation in which a government agrees not to punish, or to no longer punish, people who have committed a particular crime - การนิรโทษกรรม
- animated (adj.): full of interest and energy - มีชีวิตชีวา
- appear: to seem - ดูเหมือนจะ, ดูเหมือนว่า
- approve: to give official permission - อนุมัต
- arrangement: a plan or preparation that you make so that something can happen; an agreement that you make with somebody that you can both accept - การจัดการ, ข้อตกลง
- attention: interest, especially interest that the public has in a person, event, situation etc - ความสนใจ
- bandwagon (noun): an activity that more and more people are becoming involved in - กิจกรรมที่มีคนจำนวนมากเข้าร่วม
- 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
- broadcast: to send out a programme on television or radio - กระจายเสียง,กระจายข่าว
- campaign: a series of actions intended to produce political or social change - การรณรงค์
- civic group: a group made up of citizens rather than government officials -
- coalition (noun): the act of two or more groups joining together; a group formed by people from several different groups, especially political ones, agreeing to work together for a particular purpose - การรวมเป็นหนึ่งเดียว, การร่วมกัน, การร่วมมือกัน, การประสานกัน
- comprise: to consist or be made up of two or more things - ประกอบด้วย
- connection: a relationship between people or groups - ความสัมพันธ์
- Constitution Court: the court that decides whether or not laws follow the constitution - ศาลรัฐธรรมนูญ
- constitutionality (noun): whether or not a law, activity, etc. follows what is allowed in the constitution - การเห็นชอบตามรัฐธรรมนูญ
- cramped: not having enough space or time - คับแคบ
- credibility: the degree to which something can be believed or trusted - ความน่าเชื่อถือ,ความน่าไว้วางใจ
- cripple (verb): to prevent from working properly; to paralyse; to damage - ทำให้พิการ; ทำให้ใช้การไม่ได้
- decline: to say politely that you will not accept something or do something - ปฏิเสธ
- demonstration: an occasion when a group of people gather together to support or protest about something - การชุมนุม
- deputy: a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation - รอง
- descendant: a relative of a person who lived in the past - ทายาท, ผู้สืบสายเลือด
- destination: the place where someone or something is going - จุดหมายปลายทาง
- employee: someone who is paid regularly to work for a person or an organisation - ลูกจ้าง
- endorsement: official approval - การรับรอง การลงนามในเอกสาร
- engineer: to arrange for something to happen, especially in a useful and skilful way - วางแผน
- enthusiasm: the feeling of being very interested in something or excited by it - ความกระตือรือร้น
- estimate (verb): to say what you think an amount or value is or will be, either by using available information or by guessing - คาดคะเน, ประมาณการ
- fashionable: following a style that is popular - ทันสมัย, เป็นที่นิยม, นำสมัย
- figure: someone who is important in some way - บุคคลสำคัญ
- file: to take official action like making a complaint - ยื่น, ยื่นคำร้อง
- flawed: spoiled by something - มีข้อบกพร่อง
- focal point: the most important, interesting, or attractive part of something, that you concentrate on or pay particular attention to - จุดโฟกัส, จุดสนใจ
- focus: to give attention, effort, etc. to one particular subject, situation or person rather than another - เพ่งความสนใจ
- gather pace (verb): to become stronger; to accelerate - เพิ่มกำลัง
- goal: aim; purpose - เป้าหมาย จุดมุ่งหมาย
- heavyweight (noun): someone or something that has a lot of influence, status, or knowledge - คนหรือสิ่งที่มีอิทธิพลมาก, หนักเป็นพิเศษ
- House of Representatives: the main lawmaking body in Thailand - สภาผู้แทนราษฎร
- identify: to specify - ระบุ
- impressive: something that people admire because it is very good, very large or shows great skill - ซึ่งน่าประทับใจ
- intersection: a place where roads, lines, etc., join or cross each other - สี่แยก
- issue: to give or provide something official - แจกจ่าย
- lecturer (noun): a teacher at a university or college - อาจารย์ผู้บรรยาย
- legislation: a law or set of laws suggested by a government and made official by a parliament - กฎหมาย, การออกกฎหมาย
- live: happening now, i.e., not recorded earlier - ถ่ายทอดสด
- meanwhile: at the same time - ในเวลาเดียวกัน
- mob (noun): a large crowd of people, especially one that may become violent or cause trouble - ฝูงชนที่กำลังสับสนอลหม่าน, ฝูงชนวุ่นวาย
- mobilise: to bring together for a particular purpose - ระดมพล
- monarch: a king or queen - กษัตริย์ หรือราชินี
- monument (noun): a statue or building that is built to honour a special person or event - อนุสาวรีย์ หรืออนุสรณ์สถาน
- network: a large system of connected parts, organisations, people, etc. - เครือข่าย
- no-confidence: believing that someone is unsuitable for a job or not capable of doing it, usually used in parliament during a censure debate - ไม่ไว้วางใจ
- opponent: someone who disagrees with you or who is competing against you - ผู้ไม่เห็นด้วยกับ, ฝ่ายตรงข้าม
- opposition: of a political party that is not part of the government - ฝ่ายค้าน
- opposition: strong disagreement with a plan or policy - ความขัดแย้ง
- oust: to force to leave a position of power - ขับออกจากอำนาจ
- overthrow: to force a leader or government out of power - ขับไล่ออกจากอำนาจ
- paralyse: to cause to be unable to move or function - ทำให้เป็นอัมพาต
- participant: someone who takes part in something - ผู้เข้าร่วม
- party list (proportional representation system): a system that gives each party in an election a number of seats in relation to the number of votes its candidates receive - ระบบสัดส่วน, ระบบปาร์ตี้ลิสต์
- petition: an official document in which you ask a court to take legal action - คำร้องต่อศาล
- procession (noun): a line of people, vehicles or boats, often, but not always, moving in a slow and formal way as part of an event - ขบวนที่เคลื่อนไป, ขบวนรถ
- protester: someone who shows that they disagree with something by standing somewhere, shouting, carrying signs, etc - ผู้ต่อต้าน, ผู้ประท้วง
- rally: a large public gathering of people to support someone or to protest against something - การชุมนุม
- ramp up: to make something increase in amount or strength; to make larger; to scale up; to escalate - ยกระดับ; เสริม
- reaffirm: to give your support to a person, plan, idea, etc. for a second time; to strengthen - ยืนยันใหม่
- reform: a change that is intended to correct a situation that is wrong or unfair - การแก้ไข การปฏิรูป
- reject: to not agree with a request, offer or proposal - ปฏิเสธ ไม่ยอมรับ, ไม่เห็นชอบ
- relief: help for improving a bad physical condition or a bad situation - การผ่อนคลาย, การบรรเทา
- representative: someone who has been chosen or elected by a person or group to vote, give opinions, or make decisions for them - ผู้แทน
- royal families (noun): members of families originated by a King or Queen; royal descendents - ราชสกุล
- royal institution (higher institution): the monarchy - ระบอบประชาธิปไตยอันมีพระมหากษัตริย์เป็นประมุข
- scale up (verb): to make larger; to ramp up; to escalate - ยกระดับ
- schedule: to arrange for something to happen at a particular time - ทำตารางเวลา, ทำกำหนดการ, กำหนดรายการ
- secretive: deliberately not telling people things - ซึ่งปิดปาก
- Senate: one of the two groups of politicians who make laws in some countries, for example in the US, Australia, Canada and Thailand - วุฒิสภา
- significance: importance; the importance that something has because it affects other things - ความสำคัญ
- site: a place where something is located - สถานที่
- solidarity: agreement between and support for the members of a group - ความเป็นน้ำหนึ่งใจเดียว ความสามัคคี
- source: someone who gives information - แหล่งข่าว
- stand: an opinion, especially one which is public - จุดยืน
- stepped up: increased - เพิ่ม
- strategy: a plan that is intended to achieve a particular purpose - ยุทธวิธี, กลวิธี
- submit: to formally give something to someone so that can make a decision about it - ยื่น (เอกสาร) เพื่อการพิจารณา
- substantial: large in size, value or importance - มากมาย, ยิ่งใหญ่, สำคัญ
- take the lead (verb): to be the leader of a group, activity, etc. - เป็นผู้นำ
- temporarily: for a limited period of time - ชั่วคราว
- trendy: very fashionable - ซึ่งเป็นที่นิยม
- turn: the time when somebody in a group of people should or is allowed to do something - โอกาส
- unification (noun): the joining together of people, things, parts of a country, etc. tso that they form a single unit - การรวมตัวกัน, การสร้างเอกภาพ
- urge (verb): to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take - วิงวอน ย้ำเตือน
- voice: to express your feelings or opinions - ออกความคิด
- 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
- white-collar: working in an office, rather than in a factory, etc; connected with work in offices - เกี่ยวกับงานนั่งโต๊ะ มีเงินเดือนประจำ และไม่ต้องใช้แรงงาน