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Thailand's red shirts choose symbolic June 24 for big rally

Publication Date : 09-06-2012


Red-shirt leaders have chosen a symbolic date, June 24, for a rally at Bangkok's Democracy Monument after deciding to disperse themselves yesterday after two days of protest rallies at Parliament House.

It was on June 24, 1932, that coup leaders known as "the Promoters" seized power from King Prajadhipok and converted Siam into a constitutional monarchy.

Red-shirt co-leader and Pheu Thai MP Weng Tojirakarn told the crowd of about 2,000 supporters that the seven Constitution Court judges should "honourably" resign for having overstepped their authority and not going through proper channels.

The red shirts say the court made an unconstitutional ruling when it directly ordered parliament to defer the third reading of the charter amendment bill instead of having the Office of the Attorney-General forward the petition.

"What the court did was wrong," said Weng, urging supporters to ensure that the country will have a charter that is written by the people and for the people and not accept the current one indirectly written by military government in 2007.

Inside the parliament, in what appeared to be a parallel if not coordinated move, Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung also criticised the court.

Although red-shirt leaders say they will reconvene on June 24, the crowd was also told to tune in to red-shirt media in case there is a change in plans.

Red-shirt co-leader Jatuporn Promphan said he wanted to see a million signatures gathered by June 24 for the impeachment of the seven Constitution Court judges.

Jatuporn called the seven judges "very dangerous snakes" and told red shirts to be prepared to fight a long struggle.

He also criticised the Democrat Party as "minority-voice hoodlums" and described the ruling Pheu Thai Party as not masters of the red shirts but comrades in the struggle for democracy.

"Our mission will not end until we have achieved democracy and equality," Jatuporn said.

Not all red shirts were happy to end their protest.

"If the other side won't leave, we shouldn't either," said Tavorn Techa-bannapanya, a 61-year-old red shirt who was in front of the Parliament complex yesterday.


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