Red Shirts' solidarity on 80th anniversary of Thai pro-democracy coup
Red Shirts gathered en masse at Democracy Monument in Bangkok on June 24th, the 80th anniversary of the 1932 coup which saw Thailand’s absolute monarchy superceded by a constitutional monarchy.
Ratchadamnoen Avenue gradually became engulfed in red throughout the afternoon as speakers at Democracy Monument hailed the achievements of Pridi Banomyong, known as the father of democracy in Thailand.
The red-shirted United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) fears that true democracy is being undermined by elitist networks. One of the main complaints is against the Constitution Court’s recent order to suspend the reading of the charter amendment bill in parliament.
June 24th has great significance for the UDD. This date was celebrated by many sections of Thai society as National Day from 1938 to 1960 when it was officially decided to choose December 5th, HM the King’s birthday, to bear that honour instead.
Following the 2006 coup which ousted former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, his Red Shirts, furious at what they saw as an erosion of democracy, seized on the symbolically charged June 24th to highlight their struggle for government to champion the will of the people, as envisioned by Pridi Banomyong, leader of the 1932 revolt and ‘father of democracy’ in the kingdom.