Prison, Protest, Post it

"Free Thai the 14" Mass 'post-it' turned out on July 3rd at National Stadium metro station in downtown Bangkok in a support of 14 students of Neo Democracy Movement who are behind the bar. Hundreds of people were attracted. (© Lee Yu Kyung 2015)

“Free Thai the 14” Mass ‘post-it’ turned out on July 3rd at National Stadium metro station in downtown Bangkok. The protest was held in a support of 14 students of Neo Democracy Movement, who’ve been behind the bar since June 26 for their peaceful protest. Hundreds were attracted to post-it ‘freedom’ wall. (© Lee Yu Kyung 2015)

On July 3rd, I was among the visitors of anti-coup students activists of Neo Democracy Movement (or NDM), who’ve been in Bangkok Remand Prison for a week then. They looked confident and still energetic. Laugh and easy-smile burst into same like before – notably Chatupat Boonyapatraksa of Dao Din group from Khon Kaen. All of the ‘boy’s hair were shaved. Long and curly hair of Rattapol Supasophon from League of Liberal Thammasat for Democracy (or LLTD) gone, for instance. They did it in a protest, I was told. One of their key demands is not to be tried at the Military Court, but civilian court – Criminal Court in this case. They again have vowed to fight, not seeking bail out.

As lawyers and visitors showed them magazines and newspapers, in which the NDM movement has been covered, all looked very happy with (a bit) surprise. They’re keen on seeing publications and trying to catch lines of articles through the partition wall in a visiting room of the Prison. A visitor also showed them teaser clip of the planned protest in the evening. These all have made the young activists enthusiastic visibly, and with no doubt.

Yet, one disturbing news has been known. The one and only female student Chonticha Chaengreo has been sick and hospitalized inside Bangkok Central Women Prison (or “Women Correction Institution”). Various friends who visited her said, however, that she’s kept strong in spirit and won’t seek bail out either.

In the evening at skywalk of National Staditum BTS station in Bangkok, ‘mass post-it’ turn witnessed. Hundreds people attracted. “Free Thai (the) 14 (students)” one post-it reads. “We are friends” reads another. Among the mass, I ran into an old fellow and her son from Isarn – the country’s North East – with whom I’ve talked almost over a night one day in 2010 when I traveled to the region for the aftermath story of bloody crackdown on Red Shirts. Great encounter, really joyful. ‘Post-it’ calling friends and people to the ‘right’ place.

Since the latest coup on May 22 2014, total lack of leadership among dissents has led to the resistance-free period, except few occasions. The newly declared Neo Democracy Movement in this circumstance has attracted unhappy folks’ attention on one hand. But pundits seems cautious to analyse or take on the new development understandably, while some still held in pessimistic view. The NDM has claimed that they would pursue ‘people-led movement’, rather than ‘politicians-led’ one, a leader of Dao Din told me. The movement comprises of mostly (not all) Bangkok students- hotbed of middle class – and Isarn, bastion of anti-establishment. It remains to be seen indeed whether their bold move would be a catalyst at all of re-grouping grass roots or bring unexpected repercussion.

All Rights Reserved © Lee Yu Kyung 2015

Bangkok Remand Prison. Student activists of New Democracy Movement, except one female student, have been in this prison since June 26. There are other political prisoners in the Prison, including the lese majeste convict Somyot Prueksaksemsuk, who is said to have shaved his hair as well in a solidarity of the NDM students. (© Lee Yu Kyung 2015)

Bangkok Remand Prison. Student activists of New Democracy Movement, except one female student, have been in this prison since June 26. There are other political prisoners in the Prison, including the lese majeste convict Somyot Prueksaksemsuk, who is said to have shaved his hair as well in a solidarity of the NDM students. (© Lee Yu Kyung 2015)

Writing jailed students supportive message in 'post-it' protest. (© Lee Yu Kyung 2015)

Writing jailed students supportive message in ‘post-it’ protest. (© Lee Yu Kyung 2015)

"We are Friends" a post-it reads (© Lee Yu Kyung 2015)

“We are Friends” a post-it reads (© Lee Yu Kyung 2015)

"Free our People" reads another. (© Lee Yu Kyung 2015)

“Free our People” reads another. (© Lee Yu Kyung 2015)

Post it! (© Lee Yu Kyung 2015)

Post it! (© Lee Yu Kyung 2015)

These are my 'street mates' (© Lee Yu Kyung 2015)

They are my ‘street mates’ (© Lee Yu Kyung 2015)

Viboon Boonpattaraksa, father of Chatupat Boonyapattraksa of Dao Din leader, was talking to media. He is also a human rights lawyer representing  community. (© Lee Yu Kyung 2015)

Viboon Boonpattaraksa, father of Chatupat Boonyapattraksa of Dao Din leader, was talking to media. He is also a human rights lawyer representing community. (© Lee Yu Kyung 2015)

Viboon Boonpattaraksa, father of Chatupat Boonyapattraksa of Dao Din group, was showing strong support his imprisoned son. He is also a human rights lawyer representing  community. (© Lee Yu Kyung 2015)

Viboon Boonpattaraksa, father of Chatupat Boonyapattraksa of Dao Din group, was showing strong support his imprisoned son. He is also a human rights lawyer representing community. (© Lee Yu Kyung 2015)

For Order. Small number of police men and women were deployed around the venue of 'post-it' protest. (© Lee Yu Kyung 2015)

For Order. Small number of police men and women were deployed around the venue of ‘post-it’ protest. (© Lee Yu Kyung 2015)

Voicing out by a 'paper phone' in the dark. Thailand has been sliding into the dark era slowly, but clearly. Liberty has been more and more deprived of. Since the latest coup on May 22 2014, absent or total lack of leadership among dissents has led to the resistance-free period, except few occasions. The recently declared Neo Democracy Movment in this circumstance has attracted pundits and unhappy folks' attention despite of the Junta's heavy  propaganda of 'making citizens happy'. The NDM seeks to people-led movement, rather than 'politicians-led' as they put. Its students are from Bangkok - hotbed of middle class - and Isarn, bastion of anti-establishment. It   remains to be seen if  the movement would be a catalyst of rebuilding grass roots movement at all. (© Lee Yu Kyung 2015)

Voicing out by a ‘paper phone’ in the dark. Thailand has been sliding into the dark era slowly, but clearly. Liberty has been more and more deprived of. (© Lee Yu Kyung 2015)

2 responses to “Prison, Protest, Post it

  1. Pingback: “선거 정착·군 개혁 모두 함께 해야 한다” | Another WORD is Possible·

  2. Pingback: 저항이 말라붙은 땅, 단비 같은 외침 | Another WORD is Possible·

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