Southeast Asia

Organized Panel Session

1 - Resurrection of Communist Specter by Red Shirt Movement in Thailand through YouTube: The Case of “Red Siam” Led by Former Communists

Friday, July 6
2:40 PM - 4:10 PM
Location: Silveroak I, Ground Floor

This paper focuses on “Red Siam,” a network inside the Red Shirt movement and the leadership of Surachai Saedan, who extensively uses social media as a tool to counter the Thai dominated ideology. Surachai was a former activist in the communist movement in Thailand. From the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s, the communist movement seemed to be the only armed struggle against the government of Thailand. The Communist Party of Thailand (CPT) is the countries’ oldest political party and dates back to the Communist Party of Siam founded in 1930. Before the cold war, the CPT fought against Japanese imperialism. During the cold war, they struggled against American imperialism and military dictatorship under the flag of anti-semi-feudalism and anti-semi-colonialism. The end of the cold war influenced the demise of the CPT. Former supporters have been active both in business communities and political groups. Although we can find such support in both Yellow Shirt and Red Shirt movements, the latter has been embedded in the grassroots and better accommodates former members of the CPT to blend and join. Analyzing the discourse in YouTube as it is Surachai’s media of preference this paper discusses the ideology of “Red Siam” and the influences of former Communist members on the Red Shirt movement through media since 2010. They are ready to resort arms to abolish lese majesty and topple the current establishment. It has reflected the idea of past communist movement. 

Send Email for Katsuyuki Takahashi


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1 - Resurrection of Communist Specter by Red Shirt Movement in Thailand through YouTube: The Case of “Red Siam” Led by Former Communists



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