BANGKOK NOVEMBER 19, 2010: An estimated 5,000 red-shirt supporters gathered at the Ratachaprasong intersection on November 19, 2010 to mark the six month anniversary of the brutal government crack-down that saw more than 98 pro-democracy protesters killed by Thailand military forces in May.
Those who gathered lit candles, strung bunting and exchanged information on those killed and the hundreds more who currently languish in jails across the country charged with a range of offenses and for which exceptionally high bail amounts have been set for.
The gathering came despite an ongoing state-of-emergency decree covering Bangkok and a handful of other provinces remains in place and in the wake of an announcement by the Centre for the Resolution of Emergency Situations (CRES) that goods that “provokes, incites, agitates, or causes disunity in the general populace” were banned with those caught wearing, displaying, or selling such items subject to penalties of up to two years jail, a Bt40,000 ($US 1,334) fine, or both.
In a further erosion of the democratic rights to free political expression the CRES announcement said: “Individuals are forbidden to have in their possession, or possess with intent to sell or otherwise distribute, products, clothing, consumer goods, or any other objects that contain printing, writing, drawing, photography, or any other method that conveys a meaning which provokes, incites, agitates, or causes disunity in the general populace, or acts or supports acts which cause a state of emergency.”
This decree by the CRES covers a wide range of items popular with protesters including, T-shirts, sandals, and floor mats generally sold at such protests.
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