The enemies of the Thai people and Democracy may have their army, courts and prisons. They may have seized and rigged parliament and established the government through crimes like the blockading of the airports and other undemocratic actions by the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD).
Yet those that love democracy, the Redshirts, have strength in numbers and are waking up to political realities. Disorganised and scattered, this movement of ours will be weak, but a party that is organised and self-led can create a democratic fist to smash the dictatorship.
While world leaders such as Obama struggle to solve the serious economic crisis, the Democrat Government in Thailand is allowing thousands of workers to lose their jobs. The government sees its priority only in cracking down on opposition using les majeste, it has even created a web-site where citizens can inform on each other. Troops have been sent into communities and villages to stifle dissent.
The enemies of democracy have guns, an army and shadowy bosses in high places. But their weakness is that they are united around an absurd and un-scientific ideology: the ideology of the Monarchy. This ideology seeks to make Thais into grovelling serfs. They want us to believe that an ordinary human being, just because of an accident of birth, can be transformed into a God, when the true abilities of the king are no different from millions of ordinary engineers, artists, farmers or skilled workers.
The conservative elites want us to believe that the king loves and takes care of the people. But the Thai population are quite capable of looking after themselves. All that is beautiful and honourable about Thai society has been created by working people.
Finally, this king allows his supporters to proclaim that he is ‘the father of the nation,’ and yet his own son is not respected by anyone in Thai society!
The elites in Thailand, who claim legitimacy from the king, are exploiters and blood-suckers. They are not the real owners of society. They should remember that their wealth and status is as a result of the hard work of those ordinary citizens whom they despise.
For the millions of Thais who know all this to be true, it is only fear and intimidation that stops us all from speaking this truth out loud.
If we are alone, we will be frightened. If we are together we will have courage. It is time to bring into the open our anger, courage and reason in order to destroy the fear in Thai society and to bring light back to our country. We must all ask questions about the present regime, which after all is nothing other than a dictatorship which shrouds us in darkness. When we all stand up and ask questions, they cannot jail us all.
So long as we crawl before the ideology of the Monarchy, we shall remain no better than animals. We must stand up and be humans, citizens in a modern world.
The red, white and blue Thai flag, copied from the West in order to indoctrinate us to be loyal to ‘Nation Religion and King’, the same slogan which was recently last used by the PAD protestors who blocked the airports. Yet during the French revolution, the red white and blue meant ‘Liberty Equality and Fraternity’. This is the slogan we must use to free Thailand from the ‘New Order’ which the PAD and the army have installed.
Stop dreaming that ex-PM Thaksin will lead the struggle to free society. We cannot rely on the politicians of Pua Thai, either. They will only fight within the confines of present structures of society while thousands of citizens wish to go further. Fighting outside the confines of present day Thai society does not mean taking up arms. It means arming ourselves and the masses of pro-democracy people with ideas that can lead to freedom.
We must set up political education groups and form ourselves into a party. This party must be led from below by people in all communities, workplaces and educational institutions. Yet we must be coordinated. We must be firm and confident that all of us can be empowered take a lead and determine our policies. This will be our strength. Our weapons will be mass demonstrations, strikes and spreading ideas to all sections of society, including the lower ranks of the army.
As a movement for genuine democracy, our party must act openly. But in the face of repression through violence and legal means such as lèse majesté, we shall also have to organise secretly. They must not be able to destroy our movement by arresting top leaders. This is another reason why we want self-leadership from below.
It is not for one person to determine the common platform, which must of necessity be a collective decision. But as a staring point I offer the following ideas, the ideas of one red-shirted citizen.
The dinosaurs of Thai society, the Yellow Shirted royalists, will froth at the mouth in anger at this manifesto, but that is merely the symptoms of people who carry superstitious beliefs from the past, seeking to cling to their privileges at all costs. Their time is finished. We, the pro-democracy Redshirts will move forward to build a new society.
The elites have no right to rob the people of their dignity in order to prop up their own statuses. This sacrifice of the poor for the benefit of the elites must stop.
Those that say that Thailand is ‘a special case because we have a king’, are merely confirming that the special status of Thailand, which they want to protect, is barbarism and dictatorship. Statements about ‘National Security’ are only about the security for those who exploit and oppress the rest of us. It is not about peace and security for citizens.
This manifesto is just a proposal for a joint platform among Redshirts. My own view is that our country should move even further to a Socialist society, democratic and without class exploitation. But that is a long term goal.
The ruling class only appears powerful because we are crawling on our knees. What we need to do is to stand up, think and act for ourselves. Then we will see how weak and pathetic they really are!
In the past, whether it was during the 1932 revolution or the 1970s struggles against dictatorship, people dreamt of freedom, democracy and social justice. It is time to turn this dream into reality.
Keir Starmer's Thatcher praising speech
Historian John Newsinger writes