CityNews – In response to the possible impeachment of Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, red-shirt supporters are mobilizing in order to ensure that she remains in power, some going as far as to create what are essentially small militias in the Northeast.
Red shirts last month in Chiang Mai
Impeachment deliberations will come after Yingluck meets with the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) this week about her role in a disastrously expensive rice-buying scheme. If the committee suggests impeachment for the Prime Minister, members of the newly-elected Senate will then deliberate on the issue. If and when they decide to seek out her removal, it has become clear that red shirt supporters will take action.
Members of the ‘red shirt’ camp have remained, for the most part, fairly quiet since Anti-Government protests broke out in Bangkok this past November. Much of the press, and much of the noise, has been focused on the movement of the ‘yellow shirts’ and their desire for democratic reform. However, leaders of the United Front for Democracy (UDD, the formal and official name of the red shirt movement) say they are ready to enter the political fray to protect their Prime Minister.
As red shirt leader Suporn Attawong stated, “We’ll act when our democratically elected prime minister is kicked out by the elite.”
What exactly will this action look like? Many fear that this action will manifest itself in the kind of violence that rocked the country in 2010, which saw the deaths of dozens of individuals, many of them red shirt supporters. In order to protect members of the UDD, leader Suporn states that they will mobilize north-eastern volunteers to act as super guards for the protestors:
“I’m taking 1,000 people from 20 provinces in the northeast and sending them to camps where they will learn how to fight. Once that’s in place, we’re going to escalate our training and include more volunteers,” Suporn said.
Though no camps have as of yet been officially established, the insinuation of a red shirt militia is a troubling one, and one that will certainly gain notice from the National Army.