23 September 1945. The Democratic Alliance, a post-war people’s political party, stages a large rally in Manila against collaborators in the government, as well as demanding various reforms and the release of Luis Taruc, the Huk leader. Peasants, labourers and others, including Huks and some communists, attend the rally. They march on to the Presidential Palace to press their demands.
23 September 1945. Catholics join non-Catholics in northern and central Vietnam in demonstrations protesting British actions in Saigon. A message in the name of all four Vietnamese bishops is sent to Pope Pius XII, requesting his benediction and prayers for Vietnam’s independence.
23 September 1945. Soon after they enter Luang Prabang (and within days also Thakhek, Savannakhet and Vientiane), Chinese forces disarm the French in the royal capital but leave Prince Phetsarath as head of government. This tilts the balance of power back in the viceroy’s favour. As in northern Vietnam, the Chinese are regarded as a pest but their forces do hinder a French return above the 16th Parallel.
23 September 1945. His control slipping in both the city and countryside, General Gracey surreptitiously re-arms French POWs, urged on by French commissioner Jean Cédile. In the evening, with British agreement, these troops stage what effectively is a coup, seizing the Town Hall, where they raise the tricolour, and unseating the Viet Minh from many other buildings. The head of the Administrative Committee and several of his soldiers are taken prisoner. When the French run amok, violently assaulting Vietnamese civilians, Gracey tries to rein them in, but their actions have already irretrievably inflamed tensions in the south.