If we think back to the last year at Siam Square when the government deployed water cannons against high school students, we can remember the rage and fury that the entire country felt at the injustice and evil that was being perpetrated by the government.
Fast forward a year and the injustice has become the norm. Water cannons, batons, rubber bullets have been used multiple times by the government and each time the outrage is less. What’s more, the 112 laws have been reintroduced and innocent people remain in jail for merely expressing a political stance.
Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak and his friends remain in jail, many on hunger strike so that they could be granted due process. They are in dire condition.
But what can we do in this situation? The return of Covid-19 means that mass protests will not be treated kindly nd could exacerbate the situation.
At Chulalongkorn University, we have also gone on hunger strike to protest the arrest and detention of Joshua Wong. We are continuing it to shed light on Penguin’s situation. Even though we are in a holiday period, we must not forget our friends who will not see friends and family during the new year period because of a miscarriage of justice.
We are, at Chula, fasting two days a week so that our friends know that they are still on our minds. In this small show of solidarity, we keep the fight while our country battles against the ravages of the pandemic. It may not defeat the government but it hurts us personally to show the troubled road that lays ahead in our fight for what is right and what is just.
And as Penguin and friends remain in jail and on hunger strike, it is important that we do not forget that their suffering is all our suffering. That their suffering is for the betterment of our nation. Spare a thought for them, this holiday season.