Sydney protest for Thai democracy

Issue 

Chanting "Stop killing Thai people, bring democracy back now, no more dictatorship!", 40 members and supporters of 'Thai Red Australia' marched from Hyde Park to the Thai Consulate on April 12.

Organisers gave out a statement during the protest. The statement was handed to the consulate.

It said: "At least 19 people have died and 825 injured as a result of violent clashes in Bangkok, Thailand, as troops tried to retake areas from anti-government protesters on April 10.

"We, [the] Thai Red Australia Group for Democracy, are deeply concerned over the current situation in Thailand where the military-backed government has declared a state of emergency amid escalating protests calling for democracy ...

"In fulfilling our obligation of human conscience, we feel the crucial need to publicly express our deepest remorse and concern for this tragedy ...

"More importantly, the violence in Bangkok is not a separate incident but part of the chronic problems surrounding the relationship between poor and elite people who are supported by military and [have used] all means to scrap democracy in Thailand.

"The pro-democracy Red Shirts, comprised of the majority of the working class, peasantry and poor, have shown their real popularity and mobilising strength, which has definitely shaken the royalists and the military.

"With the broadening of the masses' support for the Red Shirts, it could be a new and important step in the struggle of the ordinary people in Thailand for the restoration of democracy and social justice.

"The government and the army are afraid to face real democratic elections, as they know that they would lose since the majority of the poor support the Red Shirts.

"[Thai Prime Minister] Ahbisit and the ruling elite are refusing to call for elections, are trying to buy time and are even preparing for a violent crackdown ...

"We call for:

1. The immediate resignation of the military-installed Ahbisit government and the holding of fresh democratic elections.
2. A halt to all forms of violent crackdown against Red Shirt protesters.
3. Greater accountability by all means possible. This includes, but is not limited to, a formal statement of remorse and apologies to the people, especially families of the deceased and the injured

"The Thai Red Australia Group for Democracy, together with pro-Democracy Thais throughout the world, will do all in our power to support the actions of those fighting for Democracy inside Thailand."

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