A look into the Black Lives Matter Movement in Thailand

Written by: Chayanon Kesorn


Chiang Mai is one of many famous provinces, which is located in the Northern part of Thailand, one of the Association of Southeast Asia nations members. It is known as the largest northern Thai tourism city and one of the most popular destinations for Thais and foreigners with the picturesqueness of the terrain, a fascination with the ancient architecture, and a charm of the culture. In addition, Chiang Mai is ranked first place in the “The Friendliest Cities in the World: 2020 Readers' Choice Awards” from Condé Nast Traveler. People from all around the world came to Chiang Mai not only to travel and enjoy but also to look for accommodation and work owing to the friendly people.


Website for The Friendliest Cities in the World: 2020 Readers' Choice Awards

(https://www.cntraveler.com/galleries/2015-08-14/the-2015-friendliest-and-unfriendliest-cities-in-the-world?fbclid=IwAR2lsGkyBAKrYEGlVYK9rKtnAEJ48dgD_o-zS48sTFF11yxDqfvwfL3DHHo)


Chiang Mai has an abundance of diverse people all around the world, it has known as the city of diversity in the Northern Part of Thailand. According to the research, more than 40,000 foreigners from dozens of countries have settled in Chiang Mai, including blacks. Throwback to the middle year of 2020, after the date of George Floyd’s death, the starting calling the BLM was spreading over the world, including Chiang Mai, Thailand. Chiang Mai has different communities over the world. CMARC plays a significant role in promoting Black Lives Matter and the black community in Chiang Mai. Here is about CMARC, Change Making Anti-Racism Coalition from the CMARC inviting member.



What is CMARC?

CMARC is a group of passionate, dedicated individuals from a variety of backgrounds who seek to help to sustain anti racism grassroot organizations and to educate the community of anti racism movements.


What is the official name of CMARC?

CMARC stands for Change Making Anti Racism Coalition.


What year was CMARC founded?

CMARC was founded in the summer of 2020.


What are the major purposes of the CMARC establishment?

CMARC has broken off into three affinity groups; fundraising, community organizing, and education. Each respective group works on a variety of projects within the community to raise funds for anti racism movements, to organize anti racism community events, and to educate community members of anti racism topics.


What is the most crucial target or mission of CMARC?

Our main target is to help sustain anti racism efforts internationally, specifically efforts within the US, but to also organize the community here in Chiang Mai. This way, even folx from abroad can make do their part to make change.


Does CMARC always create the BLM advocating activities? How?

As mentioned before, we have broken off into affinity groups. Each group and their members work to create events and spaces for advocating the BLM movement, combat voter suppression, and spread awareness of police brutality.


Do you think CMARC can promote more BLM rights in the future, in Thailand?

Absolutely - our system of affinity groups has provided us with the flexibility and creativity to pursue projects that emphasize our skill sets. We welcome friends within the community to join the cause and help in any way they can. So far we've been able to organize consistent events like open mic nights, voter registration drives, book clubs, and community picture book readings.


Opinions

Is Chiang Mai the city of racism? Why?

I think racism and racist ideas like colorism pervade every community in every country. Chiang Mai is no exception. The more people realize this the easier it will be to take action and enact positive change.


How does CMARC promote Black Lives Matter in the USA?

We raise funds for grassroot movements and register potential voters so take part in local/national elections.


Do you think Thai people are seeing more and more importance of Black Lives Matter today from your point of view?

I think so, especially with the protests that have been going on in Bangkok. Black Lives Matter specifically named these protests and stood in solidarity with the activists in Thailand.


Do you think racism is the most challenging problem for the US and Thai governments? Why?

I think the challenge presents itself in different ways depending on the cultural context of the country. Governments uphold racist, white supremacists ideologies that affect all people of difference.


If you have a chance to talk about racism and discrimination to the Thai youths teenagers or students, what will you tell them?

I would explain how racism pervades societies as a whole, and that it's not just a problem within the US. I would encourage Thai youths to reflect on their own biases, and give them examples of how I reflect on my own biases.


Do you think Thai education should focus on or pay more attention to Black Lives Matter? For example, Thai teachers should teach Thai students to respect and understand equality?

I think that Thai education can make a lot of connections with what's happening with protests/movements here and with Black Lives Matter in the US.



What do you want to see in the future for BLM?

I want to see the fight continue to make change not just on a national level, but to make change worldwide.


Do you have any important things to tell the Thais about BLM?

This is not just something that's happening in the US; white supremacy is pervasive in every aspect of society.


Courageous Curls Media would like to sincerely appreciate to CMARC. As we are a BLM supporting, we will promote the rights to our world together.


[Special thanks to Justin, a representative of CMARC.]


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