On Sept. 19, 2006, while Thaksin was in New York City for the U.N. General Assembly, the Thai military launched a coup and deposed the democratically elected prime minister. The generals responsible cited disruption of national unity and excessive corruption for kicking Thaksin to the curb.
The seizure of power by the military, quite possibly done with a nod and wink from the palace, enraged the rural masses and urban working class who held Thaksin in high regard. Feeling increasingly disenfranchised, Thaksin’s supporters created what would become known as the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), or the “red shirts,” and began holding their own mass demonstrations.
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