Southern activists held a mini version of We Walk For Friendship in Hat Yai district of Songkhla today (Jan 27) to voice support for the People GO Network’s 450-km long march from Pathum Thani to Khon Kaen.
Representatives from 19 civil and grassroot groups in the South gathered at Hat Yai square in the morning and walked about 5km to the 42nd Military Circle, also in Hat Yai district.
A company of anti-riot police and defence volunteers were deployed to keep watch of the group’s movment.
Upon arriving at the 42nd Military Circle, the group representatives read out a statement and submitted an open letter to the government via a duty officer.
In the statement, the group said today’s activity aimed to give moral support to their fellow social activists attending the We Walk For Friendship long march to Khon Kaen.
The group said under the military government, people have been prohibited from expressing their opinion or taking part in the the decision-making process of mega-projects as the authorities always viewed the people’s movement as politically-motivated.
Protests against coal-fired power plant projects in Songkhla’s Thepha district and in Krabi, and Pak Bara deep sea port in Satun were blocked and the project opponents were intimidated by state officials, they said.
The march today also aimed at communicating with the general public and those in power about imminent hardship and plight of the people affected by the government policy and mega-projects so that the government would aware and resolve it in time.
The activists dispersed after completing the long march and submission of the open letter.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)