PILGRIM: Travels in Space
Hellas Basin Riots
During the early days of Martian liberation, most of the original protests in favor of leaving Earth control were located in the Southern Hemisphere, amongst small communities that were less under the influence of Earth culture.
The worldwide movement for independence was catalyzed by the Hellas Basin Riots, in large communities around the namesake sea. Protests had been ongoing in the area for months, but after rioters took over government buildings in order to further their aims for independence, Earth Fleet marines were ordered to go in and retake the buildings. Needless to say, the situation quickly deteriorated, protesters were forced out of the buildings, resulting in hundreds of deaths. Word rapidly spread about the atrocities, and much of the surrounding colonies within the basin region began rioting, resulting in thousands dead, including many Marines, and even more rioters.
In the aftermath, pro-independence interests gained a significant foothold in Martian politics, resulting in numerous peaceful and aggressive protests to remove the planet from Earth control. These events took places decades ago, but descendents of protesters and victims still hold grudges against Earth’s behavior, resulting in a large bloc of citizens with strong anti-Earth attitudes.
Grant’s Routing of the Pirates
Twenty years ago, the number of pirates operating in the Belt Territories resulted in trade and travel between the Inner and Outer Planets being strangled. A concerted effort between the many planetary fleets led by Jovian Admiral Dirus Grant began a campaign across the disconnected populations of the Belt Territories, attempting to round up and crush pirate and criminal elements.
Early successes solidified support for the motion, with the early capture of the Three Rings pirate gang, and the decimation of the Snare criminal family, which was deeply ingrained in the Ceres political structure. However, a large number of human rights violations and protests developed, as Grant’s overzealous methods left many independent and innocent populations either wrongfully imprisoned, harassed, or even attacked and destroyed after they refused to submit to strenuous and harsh inspections by the joint fleet.
Many in the Belt Colonies today take a harsh look on the planets, sometimes overlooking pirates and criminals because of a sense of anger over the injustices they suffered. Pirate communities have been small and weakened thanks to the sweep, but numbers have been rebounding, and leaders of these groups have tried to work together to spread their influence outside of the Belt to make it harder for governmental forces to decimate their numbers.
Dirus Grant, in recognition for his work, received a promotion to Grand Marshall of the Jovian Fleet. His actions have left him with a mixed reputation outside of Jupiter’s orbital well.