Protest in Chiang Mai against Thai-EU FTA
About 2,000 protesters occupied Chiang Mai's Tha Phae Gate area on Wednesday, voicing their opposition to the second-round negotiation under the Thai-European free trade agreement.
The protesters are members of various civic groups including FTA Watch and its alliances including The Thai Network of People living with HIV/AIDS (TNP+), Stopdrink Network, Alternative Agriculture Network (AAN), Assembly of the Poor , 4 regions of Slum Network, Renal Failure Patient Group , Cancer Patient Group, Thai NGO Coalition on AIDS, AIDS ACCESS Foundation, Rural Pharmacists Foundation, Rural Pharmacy Association, and BioThai Foundation.
Olarn Chaipravat, president of the Thailand Trade Representative office and head of the negotiation team, represented Thailand in the negotiation, while representing the EU was Joao Aguiar Machad, deputy director-general of the EU.
The protesters were concerned over the adverse impact of the FTA to patients and farmers as well as local industries.
Hundreds of hand made banners demonstrating "No TRIP+ Stop Stealing Seed and Medicines" have been displayed around the protest area.
They also handed a petition to the EU chief negotiator.