The People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) in Thailand held mass protests against the Thai government on March 29, 2014. Hundreds of thousands took to the streets in Bangkok for the march, and protestors around the world joined the movement asking for “reform before election.”
In Vancouver, the Canada branch of the PDRC also gathered on March 29 to show solidarity with the movement. The Vancouver gathering aimed to raise awareness about the political climate in Thailand, and to share stories of the Shinawatra regime.
Former leader Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra has been in exile since 2006, but remains a dominant and divisive presence in Thai politics, and a key factor in the forthcoming general election.
The "red shirt" protesters - fiercely loyal to Mr. Thaksin - regularly stage rallies demanding political change, and Thaksin often makes an appearance on a giant video screen to give them encouragement. In May 2009 a bloody confrontation with the military ended prolonged protests, in which more than 90 people died.
Yingluck Shinawatra followed in the footsteps of her more famous brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, when she became Thailand's first female prime minister in 2011.
Her failed attempt to pass a political amnesty bill in November 2013 reignited simmering tensions, fuelling long-standing claims that her government is controlled by her brother, who was ousted from power and lives in self-imposed exile.
Protesters returned to the streets and so far, show no signs of backing down, leaving Thailand's bitter divisions once against exposed.