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Formal coup
Can you have a formal riot?
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2014/05/23
2:32am
Robert
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The BBC says that Thailand’s military decided to have a formal coup.   I  vaguely recall ‘formal war,’  but never ‘formal coup,’  no matter how daily-fares  they are in parts of the world, and certainly never ‘formal riot.’

2014/05/23
10:12am
New River, AZ, USA
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That is an unusual use of “formal” and you’d certainly never hear it used to describe a riot. I am not familiar with the constitution of Thailand, but I do know that some countries have a constitutional provision that allows a military coup to take charge of government functions on a temporary basis, possibly imposing martial law, until a new government can be formally elected. This might be done in the case of wide-spread government corruption, government officials’ deaths by natural disaster, or any number of scenarios that basically neutralize the efficacy of the elected government.

The closest thing we have to that in the US is the Insurrection Act, which allows government troops to act against civilians despite the Posse Comitatis Act. It was only used, to my knowledge, during the LA race riots.

2014/05/23
11:04am
Dick
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A definition of formal is to abide by standards and formalities.  Considering the different ways that coups have taken place, I can imagine one in which the overthrown party gracefully concedes, perhaps without resistance.  This is what I would picture as a formal coup.  Riots on the other hand have no standards or grace attached and obviously there are many coups that are much like riots.

2014/05/23
3:26pm
deaconB
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Heimhenge said
The closest thing we have to that in the US is the Insurrection Act, which allows government troops to act against civilians despite the Posse Comitatis Act. It was only used, to my knowledge, during the LA race riots.

It was used against the WWI Bonus Marchers in 1932, the railroad strikers in 1946. and at Wounded Knee in 1973.  I don’t know if this completes the list or not.  

Dubya wanted to use it after Katrina. but  Kathleen Blanco refused.  They changed the Insurrection Act in 2006 to strip state governments of that right.

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