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Opium Riots


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OOC: This is a continuation of the news thread, here. It's also a fully Open RP.

 

TBC Lunch Time News Broadcast

 

Protests over the mass-arrest of the opium farmers and the brutality of the police had spread throughout the northern theme of Laodicum, and they continued through the night, descending into violence on numerous occasions.

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In the thematic capital of Laodicea, clashes between the police and protestors was an almost non-stop situation. Many cars were burned, which gave an odd glow to the skyline of the city, and it looked as if the whole city was on fire on many occasions.

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Protestors used a range of weaponry against the police, from stones and rocks to Molotov cocktails and lead piping. There have been several reports, especially in the thematic capital, of guns being fired at police, and apparently several constables have been admitted to hospital with airgun pellet wounds, although in no way were these serious enough to threaten their lives. This has led to large numbers of police being deployed, which did lead to a calmer atmosphere in the early hours of the morning, although unkind critics suggested that the real reason was that the rioters had gone home to bed.

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The amount of damage done during the night?s rioting in the capital has yet to be estimated, but in excess of 500 cars were burnt during the violence.

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Community leaders have called for calm on the streets of the north eastern towns and cities, but it depends on the reaction of the Imperial security forces in the area. It is rumoured that they will attempt to gather up as many of last night?s rioters in dusk raids on homes, which will, in all likelihood, just stoke the embers which are still glowing after the mass-arrest of the opium farmers on Saturday. The fact that today is the Sabbath day will not stop people from voicing their opinions on the actions of the state.

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***ABC 12 o' Clock News***

With David McDonald

 

The Government today released a statement on the growing crime rate in Adaptus, a 12% increase in robbery, a 60% increase in drug smuggling from the west. It is thought that the resent boom in drug related crime is due to the resent incidents across the straits in Tagmatium. With opium rioters and the closing down of all opium farms in the area. This has leaded the Federation Police Chief Marshal, Jack Simons to be increasingly worries. he announced today that an increase in police activity, and a crack down on the drugs trade is to be started, and Special Branch is to once again become active and is arming up, in case of rioting, like that of in Tagmatium.

 

Special Branch as you can remember, were formed during the 70's, and the first CLF crisis. They are the special police unit, armed and ready at all time; specialize in armed fugitives, and counter-terror. Special Branch is now on Stand by in case of any trouble.

 

This news comes at a rough time for Adaptus, with fires raging in the north east, and a declaration of war on the Arch-Imperium. After such trouble, CI5 and CI6

are stepping up activity, in a bid to help sort out the current troubles in Adaptus.

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?God damn it, how do they find out about this sort of thing?? General Trajan fumed, after watching a news broadcast that more-or-less leaked the plans to combat the riots.

 

The Laodicean Chief of Police shrugged. ?Probably some copper wanting to make a bit of easy money and selling what information he knows to the media.?

 

Trajan turned upon him. ?I want that little squealer found out and treated as severely as possible. Damn it, I?d have his eyes put out were that still a legal punishment.?

 

The Chief of Police shrugged again. ?It?s probably because a lot of them have some sympathy with the farmers and the protestors. Opium growing and smuggling has been a large part of the local economy for years. You could still find perfectly respectable opium dens on many streets until about twenty years ago, when the Naziraeans took over. Admittedly, they also flourished again once they fell.? The Naziraeans were a fundamental group of Christians, who were overthrown by a group of warlords who disagreed with their harsh laws.

 

?Xenocrates, I?m getting increasingly disturbed by your apparent lack of concern over the fact that this whole area seems to be almost awash with lawbreaking. One would have thought that it?s almost your business to see that gangsters and thugs continue with their activities.?

 

The man?s apparently unconcerned attitude evaporated, and his eyes narrowed. ?That?s a very big accusation there, Catepan. Very big.?

 

?Why don?t you prove me wrong, then, Xenocrates?? Said the Catepan with a mocking smile, which was twisted by the scar that ran from the top of his forehead to the bottom of his chin, a legacy of the treacherous attack by supposedly friendly forces in Bhalman.

 

?I bloody well will.?

 


The first riot vans began making their way towards the homes of suspected rioters at about 1800 GMT. Doors were smashed open, and any occupants matching the description of suspected rioters were dragged off into the police vans, to await trial at a later date. It didn?t matter what the suspects were doing when the police found them, they were all dragged struggling towards the waiting vans.

 

News of the action quickly spread. Soon, police vans were arriving at targets and were faced by angry mobs. It wasn?t groups of radicals, mavericks or troublemakers facing the police anymore, but steadily these groups were being supplemented by groups of the general populace, those who would have supported the government previously on the actions against the farmers in the north, but this was a step too far.

 

The riots broke out again at 1900, an hour after the police operation had begun. The police, once again, were almost entirely to blame, and the majority of this blame could be passed back up the chain of command to either Police Chief Xenocrates or the Catepan himself.

 

At about 1930, almost all the city was in a state of riot. It was also being replicated in some of the smaller towns and cities. However, this time some of the more radical members of the protestors decided to take the fight to the police, and attempted to break into some of the police stations to free some of the prisoners taken either on Saturday or earlier that day. They were only held back through aggressive use of water cannon, tear-gas or baton-guns. This was going to be a long night for the authorities in the Laodicum theme?

Edited by Tagmatium Rules (see edit history)
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Statement (from the Ide Jiman ministry of popular enlightenment wink.gif )

 

Once again, nations of Europa we see that Tagmatine brutality appears to know no bounds. The Holy Empire not only annexes completely neutral territory for the sole reason of preventing Ide Jiman aid from getting to Deltannia, but it also begins the harsh oppression of it's latest subjects.

 

Admittedly, whilst this may not be the best time to criticise an ally in the war on Xheng, we find that Tagmatine actions are mildly hypocritical. We would like to suggest that perhaps the Holy Empire - a nation well known for its piety - starts acting in a more Christian manner towards its subjects.

 

Brutal suppression of riots will only lead to an escalation of violence. Perhaps another nation should step in to chair talks between farmers unions and the GHET. Whilst we agree, the opium trade is unacceptable, we do feel that these farmers should be given compensation for the destroyed crops - given that the transition to Tagmatine law would have been fairly rapid.

 

If violence cannot be stopped, then nobody is to blame but the government of the Greater Holy Empire.

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Statement (from the Ide Jiman ministry of popular enlightenment wink.gif )

 

Once again, nations of Europa we see that Tagmatine brutality appears to know no bounds. The Holy Empire not only annexes completely neutral territory for the sole reason of preventing Ide Jiman aid from getting to Deltannia, but it also begins the harsh oppression of it's latest subjects.

 

Admittedly, whilst this may not be the best time to criticise an ally in the war on Xheng, we find that Tagmatine actions are mildly hypocritical. We would like to suggest that perhaps the Holy Empire - a nation well known for its piety - starts acting in a more Christian manner towards its subjects.

 

Brutal suppression of riots will only lead to an escalation of violence. Perhaps another nation should step in to chair talks between farmers unions and the GHET. Whilst we agree, the opium trade is unacceptable, we do feel that these farmers should be given compensation for the destroyed crops - given that the transition to Tagmatine law would have been fairly rapid.

 

If violence cannot be stopped, then nobody is to blame but the government of the Greater Holy Empire.

Would Ide Jima conitnue to support the military imperialistic conquests of such an oppressive nation, or shall Ide Jima switch sides with a truly democratic and freedom loving nation such as the Arch-Imperium, one who respects the individual rights of its citizens?

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To: Concerned Nations

From: The Greater Holy Empire of Tagmatium

Re: Riots

 

We thank the various nations for offers of help in this situation, but we feel that the situation in the theme of Laodicum is definitely under control, and there is no danger of the violence spreading to any more regions of Tagmatium.

 

We also thank the Federal Republic of Ide Jima for its "constructive" criticism of Imperial tactics in combating the riots, especially at a time when our two governments are acting in coercion in the south of Europa. We also remind Ide Jima that we still have a substantial military force on our northern border, and that Ide Jima was attempting to traffic arms to terrorists using the Lesser Jaihu River. It was in the interests of peace and stability in the region that Tagmatium annexed the plot.

 

The suppression of the opium trade is a necessity that Tagmatium will not back down upon. It will also not give the farmers of this plant any form of compensation, as this will only encourage more of the plant to be grown. We will, however, help them to find alternative crops, such as maize or wheat, to grow to support themselves.

 

We repeat that there is no danger of the riots spreading to any further themes or cities.


Tagmatica Guardian

Tagmatium's Premier Newspaper

 

Violence Spreads!

 

Rioting has taken place in the northern city of Resapha, as well as Eastea, the capital of the Catepanate of the Lesser Jaihu Basin.

 

In Eastea, the Palace of the Catepan, the seat of the military governor, was burnt to the ground by a mob protesting over the harshness of the reaction to the protests in Laodicea, whilst in Resapha, a large group gathered outside of the Council House. When police arrived to make sure the group did not get out of hand, objects and even petrol bombs were thrown at them, which drove the unprotected police away.

 

In Laodicea, violence has lasted throughout the night and into the afternoon, but it did climax at around 0400, when a mob stormed the Council House in the centre of the city, and set fire to it. Another group, this time outside the Metropolitan?s Palace in Laodicea, were protesting about the apparent spinelessness of the autocephalous Metropolitan Bishop of Laodicum in his lack of reaction to the Patriarch of Tagmatium?s bull against the opium farmers. In a freak accident, the ancient Archbishop?s Palace was set on fire, apparently by a member of the crowd waving a burning Tagmatine flag.

 

More police have been bussed into Laodicea and Eastea from the more southern cities of the Lesser Jaihu Basin, which are untouched by violence and are well out of the opium growing areas. Resapha is being reinforced by police from Europatoria and Seleucia.

 

Most cities do, however, have some form of protests going on in the centre of them.

 

OOC: Bit of irony when compared to the government's official statement. tongue.gif

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TO: Tagmatium

FR: Rhomanoi

 

We are most concerned at the negative press about your crack down on the pervayors of illicit substances in your territory. We wish to express our continued support for your strict dealings with these common criminals, and will take all steps required to assist in the destruction of the base elements of society. We wish to make it known that we wholeheartedly condemn the rioting, and offer our deepest sympathies to the Metropolitan of Laodicea at the loss of his residence to these common thugs threatening your country with chaos.

 

His Eminent Holiness, Theodore VIII, Patriarch of Konstantinopoli, has pronounced the bull of excommunication onto the rioters who have violated the Orthodox Church in such a barbaric manner.

 

We will stand by you, Tagmatium, throughout this crisis, against the pathetic and spineless socialist rodents who dare to complain about the correct provision of law and order

 

 

OOC: I'm not really Fascist, but hey - what the heck!

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To: the Grand Empire of Rhomanoi

From: the Greater Holy Empire of Tagmatium

Re: Riots

 

Again, we thank you for your condolences on the loss of the Metropolitan?s Palace in Laodicea. It was, however, high time that the Metropolitan See recognised the superiority of the Patriarch of Tagmatium, and this maybe just the incident needed to do this. We are sure you can understand our reasons for doing this are entirely justified by the situation in the Lesser Jaihu Basin, especially because of the lawlessness of the area. This will strengthen Imperial rule in the area, but will not affect the day-to-day life of the people in the area. A much more docile and malleable candidate will be chosen by his holiness, Cosmas I, the Patriarch of Tagmatium, when the current incumbent, Joseph VII, dies or retires.

 

We feel that we can deal with these rioters, even if it means a deployment of soldiers onto the streets.


TBC News Broadcast

 

Violence has continued throughout the day, leading to yet more police being deployed on the streets of Laodicea, as well as the majority of the cities in the Greater Holy Empire. Several nations have decried this as obviously oppressive, but Tagmatine authorities have stated they are acting in the best interests of their citizens by making sure there are enough police to keep them safe.

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The Laodicean Chief Constable, Andronicus Xenocrates, one of the men at the heart of the controversy over the supposed brutality, has issued a statement saying that ?we will not bow down to mob rule. These farmers have repeatedly broken the law by growing this illegal crop, and we are acting well within our rights to put them away, whether under Tagmatine laws or the older Laodicean laws.?

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This statement comes at a time when there are protests over exactly this issue taking place in the majority of Tagmatine cities, and the violence itself has spread to the themes of Eastern Paphlagonia and the Lesser Jaihu Cities, which is also the seat of the Catepan, another figure at the centre of the issue.

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Would Ide Jima conitnue to support the military imperialistic conquests of such an oppressive nation, or shall Ide Jima switch sides with a truly democratic and freedom loving nation such as the Arch-Imperium, one who respects the individual rights of its citizens?

Open Contact:

 

The Arch Imperium is not the correct nation to lecture us on the evils of imperialism. There is absolutely no chance whatsoever that the Federal Republic would side with the southeastern Axis of Evil, a state of war exists between our nations.

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?It?s gone too far. It damned well lasted too long. I?m here by ordering soldiers onto the streets of Laodicea, as well as Eastea. Damn them for burning down my palace??


TBC Midmorning News Broadcast

 

This morning citizens in Laodicea awoke to a new sound on the streets, much different to that of the previous nights of rioting. It was the sound of tank tracks grinding down the streets.

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During the course of the night, as violence once again flared up during the course of the evening, the Catepan ordered the deployment of soldiers on to the streets of the Laodicum capital, as well as the capital of the Catepanate itself. These are a last desperate measure to halt the riots. They have, however, been successful so far, as there has not been any reports of rioting since the military forces were deployed to the streets at around 0600 this morning.

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The troops deployed are the 231st and 78th battalions of the People?s Guard Infantry, as well as a light Caballarii battalion (mounted in Scimitar light tanks) of the People?s Guard and a battalion of Trapezitae (mechanised infantry) of the People?s Guard. The fact that tanks have been moved onto the streets is a controversial issue, but one that seems to be working at the moment.

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This step comes after what was probably the worst night of violence so far, which saw more governmental buildings attacked, and sadly saw the first fatalities of the incidents. Many shops were also set on fire, especially the larger chain stores and international companies.

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Now that the rioting appears to be over, many have called on the Catepanate to release the prisoners it has taken over the last few nights, especially those 219 opium farmers, whose arrest sparked off the rioting on Saturday. The Imperial authorities have said that they will not bow down to mob rule and those arrested will remain in custody until further notice. This has led to many vowing to continue with the rioting, but there has been no signs of those threats being followed through as yet.

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Tagmatica Guardian

Tagmatium's Premier Newspaper

 

In the week since the start of the period of civil unrest that shook the whole of the north of the Greater Holy Empire, things have definitely changed. Thursday saw the Catepanate cave to popular protest, and order the release of the 219 opium farmers arrested last Saturday. The Catepan's Office has stressed that they not dropped the charges against the farmers, and they have merely been released on bail.

 

"If they [the farmers] turn once again to growing and selling illicit drugs, they will be straight back into the courts, and this time facing imprisonment for their crimes," said Hypatia Joseph, the press officer for the Catepanate.

 

The Laodicean Chief Constable, Andronicus Xenocrates, came under a barrage of protests and calls for his resignation, all of which he has so far endured without any sign of giving into. He is, however, fairly notorious for his laxity on the drug trade, and is rumoured have often looked the other way on several occasions.

 

The Catepan, General Antony Trajan, was also heavily criticised for his heavy-handedness during the riots, and has apparently been called back to Tagmatica for an interview with his Imperial Majesty, Commodus III. This has been denied by both the Imperial Government and the Catepanate Office.

 

As well as all this, the army is still deployed on the streets of the thematic capital of Laodicum, as well as making sweeps of the mountainous north of the theme, to destroy any remaining opium farms. This, however, will be an on-going situation. Estimates place the length of time the ?War on Opium? will last from anywhere from 5 years to 50. There are whispers that it will never end, and will turn into another Sevrun-like event, although that may just be scare-mongering by those opposed to the annexation of the petty republics and monarchies made up the Lesser Jaihu Basin area.

 

Also related to this event, the autocephalous Metropolitan of Laodicum, Joseph VII, has recognised the Patriarchate of Tagmatium as its superior. Cosmas I has allowed the Metropolitan to continue in its nature for the moment. It is not known whether this move will restart any violence in the Catepanate.

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The Blessed State condemns these villanious rioters, drugs are a temptation sent by the devil to poison man, thus in Secadores we have strict anti-drug laws. If Tagmatium wishes so, units of the National Anti-Narcotics Police Division (NANPD) can be deployed in destroying Opium and capturing these drug lords.

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People's Commissariat for International Affairs

 

United Soviet Republics of Karelia-Ivanovia condemns these criminal riots and drug trafficking as well, for drugs are an invention of immoral profiteers seeking to exploit the working masses and drive them into a slavery of addiction.

 

We hope that the Tagmatian government will continue it's line against these subversives.

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To: the United Soviet Republics of Karelia-Ivanovia

From: the Greater Holy Empire of Tagmatium

Re: Support

 

We thank you for your support for our stance on the drug traffickers and the rioting, for as your government may have noticed, the Imperial government has come under some flak for its actions, both from internal sources and international sources, although those international sources have often been opposed to Tagmatine actions.

 


To: the Blessed State of Secadores

From: the Greater Holy Empire of Tagmatium

Re: Help

 

We thank you for your kind offer of support for both our stance on the drug trafficking and growing, as well as rioters who protested our actions against the opium farmers. We are interested in your proposal to send units of the National Anti-Narcotics Police Division (NANPD) to help support the units of the People?s Guard who are actively rooting out and attacking opium growing communities, in attempts to destroy the drug at its source.

 

Be warned, this is no easy task, as the area in which these communities and cooperatives function is very mountainous and rugged, and the farmers themselves are fairly well-armed, as they used to be the retinues of the petty rulers and warlords that used to rule this are before it was annexed by Tagmatium, and the patrols often have to call in support from either larger garrisons or aerial units. They also appear to have the support of not only the local populace, but also of, oddly enough, the local clergy as well, although this may be in reaction to the recent acknowledgement of the superiority of the Patriarch of Tagmatium over the local Orthodox leader.

 

If the government of the Blessed State still wishes to send members of the NANPD, their expertise in this area will be a most welcome addition to the operations of the soldiers of the People?s Guard, who do not have much experience in this field.

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