Montag, 11. März 2013

Run For Freedom - English Version

The race started at the Monument of Democracy on March 10th at 4pm.

On 10th March 2013 the KwiRasdr Group (which also took part in the art-for-freedom-exhibition), members of the 112 Family Network (on Facebook: 112 Family Network) and other groups staged the RUN FOR FREEDOM event. The intention of this run was to educate a wider public about the abuse of article 112 and the situation of politcal prisoners in Thailand ( their existance is officially denied by Thai politicians, that's why the "non existing people" got their own prison - Laksi Prison inside the Royal Thai Police Sports Club compound!!!).

Some of the runners wore prisoner's garb like dresses.

Around 80 to 100 people participated in the run. Many were dressed like prisoners, wearing the usual prisoner's garb. They also had the names of political prisoners pinned on the back of their shirts and some wore masks with the face of Somyot printed on.
Up to 200 supporters joined the runners on bicycles, motorbikes and with their cars. This is definitely a lot more than usual for these events and a success for the organizers.

This participant pinned Somyot's name on his back.

While waiting for the race to start three ambulances arrived (to support the runners in case of an emergency) at the starting point of the race at the Monument of Democracy, greeting the participants with sirens wailing and blue lights flashing. Some of the participants saluted the arriving cars by shouting: "Oneni mai mii thaai laeo" (today we are not dead yet) referring to the slogan we heard often at Red Shirt protests after 19. May 2010 at the Rachaprasong intersection: "Ti nii mii khun thaai" (people have died here).

Other bills were written in Korean, French. Spanish, Malay and Vietnamese.

They started the run at the Monument of Democracy. From there they ran along the Rachadamnoen Road, passed the Thammasat University and  finally reached the first stop over at the main gate of the Royal Palace. Some members of the committee addressed the audience and voiced their demands and accusations. From the Royal Palace the race (after the last, mostly older, stragglers finally arrived) went on to the Supreme Court. Here again they delivered several speeches before they continued the run. Next landmarks were the Military Headquarter and Anantha Samakhon Throne Hall and finally the finish at the Monument of Democracy.

The run started at the Monument of Democracy.

Down the Ratchadamnoen Road to Sanam Luang

Others joined the race on bikes.

First stopover  next to the main gate at the Royal Palace.

Back on the road again, next stop Supreme Court.

Second stopover at the Supreme Court.

The people along the road reacted very differently. Some bystanders looked annoyed (obviously fed up with political rallies). A few looked even hostile. But there was also support and applause. Even three busses with military personal blew their horns and some of the soldiers were waving.

This man at Ratchadamnoen Road encouraged the participamts of the race.

From left to right: Somyot (political prisoner) , Surachai (political prisoner) , Khattiya Sawasdipol (murdered May 2010)

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