Dissident Movement in Drak-Modan
Disorganized Beginnings (1690-5)
From the creation of the Bovic Draconian State, pockets of discontent blossomed among Modanese and Laqi communities. In these early beginnings, the predominant source was political and social leaders who found themselves unable or unwilling to align themselves with the Draconian agenda. Protests were as disorganized and ideologically inconsistent as society as a whole, with the strongest voices coming from conservative circles, who found themselves descending into increasingly extremist rhetoric over the state's attempts to convert traditional cultural norms and subjugate their ethnic identities below that of the Draconians.
As the first years of the Bovic Draconian State wore on, these early sources of dissent were weeded out through reconditioning, exile, and imprisonment. The 1694-5 Laqi Cross-Border Raids did much to aid these early, more reactionary dissidents into reconciling themselves through nationalist and antiforeigner rhetoric, as these incursions presented an other more threatening to traditional law and order than that of Draconian Supremacy.
Modanese Inclusive Liberation Front (1693-8)
What would become an existential threat to the Bovic Draconian State instead came from those who were initially more predisposed to support at least some of the new order's social program: cosmopolitan and queer young adults.
For this cohort in particular, those young enough that they grew up only remembering the chaos of the Kalirion Fracture, the struggle for Drak-Modan state to maintain stability through a cycle of governments and civil wars, and the perennial threat from backward-minded moralizers. Draconian Supremacy portrayed itself as a movement that made the "right kind of people" tops, the "wrong kind of people" bottoms, and turned queer people of all ethnicities into a broad middle.
Young Modanese activists helped bring Draconian Supremacy to the fore in mainland Drak-Modan, where ethnic Draconians were thinner on the ground. By late 1690 AN, the movement had gained sufficient traction that it presented an opportunity to be recuperated by the country's conservative leadership. Many in this original activist core found themselves integrated into the government as enforcers to the emerging order, which quickly turned a liberatory message, which used the Draconian identity as a rallying point for liberatory politics that valued them instead of scorned them, into authoritarian ethnonationalist policy.
By 1692 AN, a faction had emerged among this body of early supporters, composed of those Drak-Modani citizens that had become disillusioned by the new direction. Citizens who found family and friends under pressure to undergo reconditioning, keep to the closet, or leave. Allies to the movement who found themselves under state restriction for their low Kinsey Score. Some experienced hazing and gang-related violence, even if their Kinsey Score was high enough to qualify for Draconian status.
The Bajkir Rally
On 16.VII.1693 AN, Riman Valentin, the Mayor of Bajkir, resigned in protest, citing in his public statement that there needed to be room for all kinds of people to love and be loved without needing to fear scrutiny or oppression.
Three days later, he led a small rally in front of his former city hall. Before being broken up by police and its participants imprisoned, three speakers were able to broadcast their experiences under the new regime to those in the central business district of Bajkir:
- A self-described proud Draconian, who was beaten by thugs for having "turned fruit", after he was found dating a woman monogamously.
- A shy woman of Laqi descent, who found herself being shunned by her friends for "not trying hard enough" and "not picking a side".
- An office worker with a Kinsey Score of A, who ostensibly are protected under the state, spoke about experiencing workplace discrimination and being skipped over for promotion. When they attempted to file a complaint at the local police precinct, the paperwork was shredded and they were told to accept what good they already had.
This event helped to kick off what would become known as the Modanese Inclusive Liberation Front (MILF).
|"Not Gonna Get Us"|
On 3.IX.1696 AN, the popular music duo, Agnes & Elin, released a new state-approved album titled Against Traffic. The content of the album was vaguely rebellious, in keeping with a less popular strain of state propaganda that leaned on the Draconian identity as subversive and liberatory, with songs that spoke vaguely about suffering persecution, about longing to live as one wished, about acting robotic while feeling overwhelming emotions, and about an artificial paradise. Thanks the duo's highly-approved lifestyle (both scoring high on the Kinsey Scale, being proudly Draconian, displaying their romantic relationship openly at their concerts, etc), the album received state approval and celebration. In an interview for its release, Agnes & Elin spoke about how the world has long looked down upon the Draconian people and the beauty of their love.
|"How Soon Is Now"|
Quickly, however, the album's songs became popular among the growing dissident movement. MILF rallies began using their music as filler between speakers, and their songs began to be sung during marches. Asked on 18.XII.1696 what they thought about their album's popularity among dissidents, Agnes answered, "We all are very different people and we should celebrate our differences. We should not be silent when we see any intolerance." When asked whether such an attitude was compatible with the principle of Draconian Supremacy, Elin said, "I think everybody should be free to live their life without shame. Isn't there room in the Sun for all of us?"
On the night of 7.III.1697, the duo ended their concert in Kurpla with the statement "don't let them tell you you don't belong". Their tour was immediately ended, and state media suppressed their appearance and music thereafter.
In V.1697, rumors spread that the duo had been jailed. In response, the Modanese Inclusive Liberation Front organized a "call-in", where fans were encouraged to flood phonelines for radio and television stations with demands to return Agnes & Elin to the airwaves. In conjunction with widespread economic troubles, the combination of economic anxiety, social justice, and indignant EDM fans culminated in massive demonstrations in demesne capitals, which were only put down through extreme police violence.
Following the beating of protesters outside of The Fury, MILF's organizing shifted from the streets to the workplace. Already straining from trade isolation and a recession, workers began to participate in work stoppages. By this point, MILF's coalition had grown to contain members from all corners of society, including sympathetic Draconians.
On 18.VI.1698 AN, representatives of MILF issued a press release, announcing its intention to initiate a general strike in all major cities, and services to be refused to anyone who did not bear the colors of their coalition: 🟥🟧🟨🟩🟦🟪. The symbolism behind the rainbow banner was twofold: firstly, to represent the ethnic and sexual diversity of their movement; secondly, to represent their goal for a free Modan in all its colors. When asked by international journalists whether the banner was chosen as an appeal to the Wechua Nation, the representatives answered that the resemblance is coincidental. This general strike would begin at the first of the next month.
By 15.XIII.1698 AN, sporadic citywide general strikes and public displays of noncooperation with the national policy, combined with a deepening fracture between the ruling party's two major factions, had brought Drak-Modan to a standstill. On that day, Riman Valentin led a march on city hall. Bajkir Police dispersed the rally using tear gas. During the struggle, a firefight erupted, leaving two dozen dead. On the following day, BP justified their action by stating that the rally was a front for an insurrection to overthrow the government. Among those remaining in police custody were MILF leaders Riman Valentin, Benita Karlgren, and Kyle Lochalsh.
A follow-up rally for the release of MILF activists and a vigil for the fallen was prevented by police barricade and travel restrictions within the city's government center. Decrees directing the deployment of the Drak-Modani Defense Force to Bajkir went unsigned by Co-Chancellor Gavrilov. In the absence of a decisive lockdown in Bajkir, MILF continued to encourage noncompliance against the regime, conducting flash rallies throughout the Bajkir metro area in order to overstretch and exhaust police resources. The MILF leaders in custody were quietly transferred to Karamola.
Defenders of Draconia (1697-)
In response to government inaction to oppose the growing MILF movement, a corresponding reactionary movement coalesced during the wave of strikes that crippled Drak-Modan in 1698 AN. Calling themselves the Defenders of Draconia, or Double Ds, these vigilante groups would corner and attack MILF activists after they dispersed from their rallies. Their stated goal was to reassert the unquestioned authority of the Draconian Agenda, believing that the central government had gone soft.
The Lyhigh Three
On 20.II.1698 AN, Lyhigh became the first city to prosecute the Double Ds after a local group took the violence to a new level and conducting a shooting spree, which targeted certified gold-star Draconians found to have participated at a recent MILF rally. Seven were killed before suspects could be apprehended, and the city's public prosecutor quickly announced that the evidence available and the shocking nature of the attacks meant that his office would be charging the suspects with murder and conspiracy to murder. In response, the Mayor of Lyhigh, Nikki Kosygin, attempted to use her office's influence to pressure the public prosecutor into reducing the severity of the charges. When pressed by news media, she briefly explained her stance:
"It was one thing to tolerate fruits and their ilk when they were quiet and knew their place, but when I hear about these protesters openly displaying their degenerate passions and offering up a prelude to breeding in full view of the public, I can only say that enough is enough! Who can blame any good, honest, and truthful Draconian for being roused to take a stand in such times?"—Nikki Kosygin, 5.III.1698 AN press conference
The Nomokon Square Massacre
In the week running up to the nine-year anniversary of the Loki's Inn Massacre, the Defenders of Draconia bussed in members from across Kizshire, gathering in the City of Bajkir in order to face the ongoing MILF strikes head-on. On 20.XIV.1698 AN, the anniversary itself, Double Ds massed in front of the barricades near Bajkir City Hall. Dressed in black, green, and blue, and armed with makeshift clubs and shields -- the shields fashioned from steel barrels and with the Draconian Power symbol spray-painted on the front -- the Double Ds held their rally. Following an impassioned speech by Ingmar Signyson, Deputy Mayor of Bajkir, who himself denied being a member of the organization, the rally broke up into smaller groups, who proceeded to move through downtown Bajkir, attacking anything or anyone that sported rainbow colors.
The largest cluster of Double Ds proceeded across town to Nomokon Square, where a concurrent MILF rally was being held. The Double Ds used their shields to wall off avenues of escape and then proceeded to savagely beat activists, working their way towards the center. Bajkir Police, who were already on site in order to redirect traffic, did not intervene. After attempting to fight back despite being unarmed, a contingent of MILF protesters successfully opened up a chainlink fence that blocked one of the few alleyways not otherwise barred off by the Double Ds, allowing the mass of the MILF rally to pour out of Nomokon Square. Concurrently, a relief group of MILF members arrived on scene with guns and makeshift explosives, forcing the Double Ds themselves to scatter.
At Nomokon Square, eight members of MILF had been beaten to death, with another forty-seven severely wounded. Among the Defenders of Draconia, eleven had been shot, with three dead. Twenty-five MILF protesters were arrested.
With the tone set by the events of 20.XIV, the City of Bajkir quickly descended into chaos. Rather than go home, Double Ds began performing hit-and-run attacks using commandeered vehicles. Shops remained closed to avoid becoming the site of another beating or shooting. Bajkir Police redeployed all resources to protect the government center.
Despite this, the Mayor of Bajkir, believed by some to have been mildly sympathetic to MILF, was assassinated on the steps of City Hall on 4.XV.1698 AN, the culprit having never been found. In a meeting with the Superintendants of the Bajkir Police Service, Acting Mayor Ingmar Signyson demanded that the gloves come off and that the police use all available measures to reassert order to the city. When asked how far that order went, Signyson told them to disregard normal limitations. Two of the seven superintendants tendered their resignation. Signyson then issued a directive, authorizing the service to deputize able-bodied and trustworthy Draconians as Police Service Irregulars in order to supplement their manpower, establishing a curfew, and granting clearance for the police to enforce the curfew with lethal force. A suspiciously-large number of the newly created Police Service Irregulars had permanent addresses listed on their IDs as other than Bajkir, such as Kurpla and Drakorda.
On 13.VI.1698, an open letter was received in Drakorda, copies having been sent to the co-chancellors' offices and those of The Fury. The letter expressed concern that authorities in Bajkir's Police Service Irregulars were using the veneer of legitimacy to attack people in their homes. It cites four incidents were city residents were reported killed while resisting arrest, but witnesses in their homes saw them being dragged out into the street and executed. State media is instructed to suppress news of the letter and its allegations.
Humanist realignment (1698)
Following rumours in the regional press 6.I.1698 AN Davit Teimuraz, Archon of the Modani People's Union, Co-Chairman of the Committee for United Modani Solidarity, and Grand Chancellor of Drak-Modan issued a press release confirming his formation of a matrimonial union compliant with Imperial Decree 865 with Farah Wren, a "triple-indent" graduate of the Dabirestân-e Pardanashin N&H Future Leadership Programme. The retinue of catamites, with which Davit had hitherto maintained his formal compliance with the tenets of Draconism, were to be retained as staff serving the newly established joint-household.
This announcement was followed thereafter by the issuance of a circular to the leadership of the Party Cadres giving formal instructions to emulate the example set by Davit and take matrimonial partners of the opposite sex from those within the Party likely to be of peak fertility.
Once news broke of this development, Kamil Gavrilov announced that he would not be co-signing any chancellorial actions until the Modani People's Union recommitted itself to the Draconian agenda.
On 11.XV.1698 AN Davit Teimuraz, faced with the paralysis of the government and the progressive breakdown of public order, withdrew himself along with his family and retainers to the island of Sabatini, seeking sanctuary with the UGB garrison of the naval station there operated on behalf of Benacia Command. At the same time, in what appeared to be a coordinated move, members of the Drak-Modani Vanguard Division, under arms and newly returned from recent N&H drills in Highpass, raised the banner of the Prince of Modan in the otherwise sedate seaside resort of Twoggle.
Negotiations Open (1698-9)
In the violent aftermath of the Nomokon Square Incident, Co-Chancellor Gavrilov travelled to Karamola to meet with MILF leaders in custody, with the goal of reversing the trend of growing chaos within Drak-Modan. During their first meeting, the Co-Chancellor and MILF leaders mostly argued, but by 20.XV.1698, the discussions had become more purposeful, zeroing in on a set of five points of agreement:
- Temporary suspension of Draconian Supremacist laws
- Open elections in the new year, with international observers
- Release of nonviolent political prisoners
- MILF will cease all protest actions and encourage people to get back to work
- Deployment of an impartial peacekeeping force to keep factions from fighting one another
Gavrilov promised to relay these points to The Fury, as it would be the governing body that could approve them, but expressed hope that these would mark the path out of Drak-Modan's tailspin. Upon his return to Drakorda on the 21st, he called a cabinet meeting to brief them on the progress made, and to express his intention to submit them to The Fury with his endorsement. Only two-thirds of the cabinet attended this meeting. Gavrilov then contacted Drak-Modan's embassy in Shirekeep, asking for a direct line to the Golden Mango Throne.
Following this conversation, the Shirerithian Commissioner for Defence issued orders to mobilize reserve units, as well as redeploying an additional Battle Command each into the Isenbury and Lowbrook Associations. Ŝḥenĉeł'yh units attached to each association were also to redeploy to the Dolorous Association.
Briefings for Isenbury and Lowbrook Associations indicated that, instead of previous expectations that they would be waging a war of attrition against Drak-Modan, their new orders were for forthcoming peacekeeping operations in cooperation with Drak-Modan's government instead.
On 28.XV.1698 AN, Gavrilov submitted a bill to The Fury for consideration in order to effect state action on the negotiated points of agreement. A bipartisan coalition of representatives attempted to kill the bill, first by calling into question its legality, then attempting to refer the bill to a committee chaired by one of their members, and finally by allowing a suspension of the rules in order to place it higher on the legislative agenda. All of these attempts failed, though the vote was close at each stage. An attempt by the supporting faction to amend the legislative calendar failed, and debate was finally scheduled for the afternoon of 2.I.1699 AN, the next day on the calendar designated for the plenum.
This debate did not take place, due to the beginning of the 1699 Drak-Modan Coup Attempt.