The yellow shirts began holding regular protests against the Thaksin-allied government starting in May of 2008 that would continue throughout the year. During this time, skirmishes with their red shirt foes began to break out sporadically both in Bangkok and in the provinces, some of which turned deadly.
On Nov. 25, the yellow shirts launched their most brazen protest to date, occupying Bangkok’s then-brand new Suvarnabhumi International Airport. That was followed by the seizure of the city’s other commercial airport, Don Muang, the next day. Flights into the Southeast Asian hub ground to a halt and inflamed tensions throughout the country. Yellow shirts were targeted in violent attacks and explosive devices were detonated at Don Muang.
On Dec. 2, Thailand’s Constitutional Court disqualified the government’s pro-Thaksin leadership again and thrust the opposition Democrat Party, under the leadership of Abhisit Vejjajiva, into power. While the yellow shirts hailed the ousting of Thaksin loyalists from the political helm as a victory, their occupation of the capital’s airports was largely deemed as a face-losing move by the Thai public — one from which they would struggle to recover.
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