Distinctive haircuts, odd plainclothes, usual repression

20 03 2018

A couple of days ago, Prachatai reported on some dopey dicks sent to surveil a university workshop, then to intimidate and threaten organizers and participants.

Clipped from Prachatai

Given that the thugs are easily identifiable as police and military, it makes almost no sense when they show up as undercover officers and banal “cover” stories. Yet we somehow guess that this foolishness is also a means of intimidation.

The event reported was police and soldiers at at Silpakorn University’s Nakhon Pathom campus where Achara Rakyutitham, an Art lecturer, held a classroom seminar on the pro-democracy movements entitled “A talk with suspects: ordinary people who want an election.”

Achara stated:

… she had invited over 10 guest speakers who were prosecuted for joining the pro-election protests at MBK shopping centre and Democracy Monument. The activity was held mainly for students who enrolled in Achara’s classes, but she also allows non-students who registered online to attend.

Two hours before the event started, two rather poorly dressed plainclothes officers, neither of whom had registered, claimed they were “students from a university in Bangkok and wanted to video-record the seminar for their thesis.” This obviously bogus claim was made all the more unlikely “because of their style of haircut,” which seems to follow king’s guidelines on neatness and is called the 904 haircut.

Achara was also suspicious about these bogus students arriving two hours early and wanting to “know … the organisers of the seminar.

When the seminar began, more “undercover” officers arrived and “asked to join the seminar without prior registration.” This lot said they wanted to “make sure everything in order.” Some time later, during the seminar, “a police officer from the Special Branch Bureau told Achara that a guest speaker had said something that was inappropriate and might constitute a violation of the National Council for Peace (NCPO) and Order Head order 3/2015.”

That officer then threatened Achara, saying she might be “on the watch list” because of the seminar.

Naturally enough, Achara and her students “felt intimidated and disturbed by the authorities.” That, of course, is the point of such visits. Such intimidation is a hallmark of dictatorships.

Achara actually thanked the officer-thugs “for ‘demonstrating’ state intimidation of ordinary people for her students.”


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