Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Report of the Lance Point Inquiry

Volume I - Chapter 1

Principal Conclusions and Overall Assessment

1.1 The object of the Inquiry was to examine the circumstances that led to loss of life in connection with the labour rights revolts in Lance Point 10 Autumn 1931. Three hundred and fifty seven civilians were killed by MILICIA troops on the day. The day has become generally known by various metaphorical names but for the purposes of this report we will refer to it simply as The Incident. In 1932 Andrea Sinclair, then the Attorney General of Prince Gable, held an inquiry into these same events.

1.2 In these opening chapters of the report we provide an outline of events before and during 10 Autumn 1931; and collect together for convenience the principal conclusions that we have reached on the events of that day. We also provide our overall assessment of those events. This outline, our principal conclusions and our overall assessment are based on a detailed examination and evaluation of the evidence, which can be found elsewhere in this report. These chapters should be read in conjunction with that detailed examination and evaluation, since there are many important details, including our reasons for the conclusions that we have reached, which we do not include here, in order to avoid undue repetition.

1.3 We found it necessary not to confine our investigations only to what happened on the day. Without examining what led up to The Incident, it would be impossible to reach a properly informed view of what happened, let alone of why it happened. An examination of what preceded was particularly important because of the context of the emerging New Coalition at that time and the ramification of the Incident on the New Coalition’s ongoing role and mandate.

Volume I - Chapter 2

Outline of events before the day

2.1 The Cycle 1930 saw the beginning of widespread wildcat strikes and the formation of illegal unions. The Lance Point consortium had reduced its workforce by 10% and working conditions which were already some of the lowest on Terra Nova, worsened.

2.2 On 16 Summer 1931 The New Coalition Treaty was signed in Prince Gable forming the basis of a cooperative trade zone within the Westridge range. Chairman Samuel Nanga signed the accord (along with 4 other city states) with expressed hopes of using the New Coalition as a pressure tactic against the illegal revolts.

2.3 On Summer 35 1931, the MILICIA 11th Heavy Gear regiment, known as the Rapiers, under the command of Commandant Giyom Nazier took position 5km south of Lance Point.

Volume I - Chapter 3

3.1 Commandant Nazier’s report indicates his intelligence liaison provided him with information about a suspected arms deal aiming to supply the workers with heavy weapons. The Rapiers 4th escouade came under fire at 19:21 hours and were soon reinforced by elements of the rest of the regiment. By 34:44 hours the regiment had secured Lance Point having suffered the loss of 4 heavy gears, and 2 pilots.

3.2 We set out below a map showing some significant buildings, the position of the three most important engagements and the forces deployed.

Volume I - Chapter 4

The question of responsibility for the deaths and injuries of The Incident

4.1 The immediate responsibility for the deaths and injuries on 10 Autumn lies with those members of 11th Heavy Gear regiment whose firing was the cause of those deaths and injuries. The question remains, however, as to whether others also bear direct or indirect responsibility for what happened.

Allied Southern Territories

4.2 During the course of the Inquiry, allegations were made that the MILICIA moved in to Lance Point for the purpose of annexing it to the AST with a de facto occupation. This inquiry has found no tangible evidence to support this conclusion. The AST and the Southern Republic have had a role as observers in Lance Point's troubled history. There was therefore historical precedent for their involvement. That being said, the principal motivation remains one of securing vital resource and not social stability. There is undeniable evidence that the AST acted out of self interest and that those interests were at odd with the well-being and safety of the Lance Point Workers.

Commandant Giyom Nazier

4.3 No undue fault has been leveled on the CO of the Rapiers as his troops responded to armed attacks according to their rules of engagement. However, the pretext for their positioning in lance point on the day of the Incident cannot be corroborated as the Intelligence officer upon whom the information was drawn has not been seen since.

Lance Point Consortium

4.4 Although it is the finding of this report and this inquiry that the LP consortium and its chairman Samuel Nanga are not responsible for the deaths that occurred, blame can be laid for poor judgement, bordering on negligence which lead to the civil unrest underlying the revolts. Additionally the myopic approach to resolving the rising tension through violence; first by hoping the New Coalition would send in GRELS and then by allowing the AST to deploy the MILICIA, only served to exacerbate the potential for harm and loss of life.

The New Coalition

4.5 Accusations that The New Coalition exploited the crisis in Lance Point in order to legitimize their purpose are both justified and imperfect. NuCoal has broached subjects of greater confederate responsibilities among members as a result of The Incident; however the underlying structural problem in lance Point were not NuCoal's fault - they were in fact underlined before signing of the agreement. However, NuCoal did not take active part in any violence, having resisted calls to deploy GRELS to resolve the conflict.

Rt. Hon. Royz Malcom

4.6 As Chairman of the New Coalition, Royz Malcom is on record against the use of GRELS as a policing force intervening in Lance Point. His motion was carried by a majority and he cannot be assigned any blame for a decision which was taken democratically. However, there is evidence he was vacillating with the idea of GREL intervention but was dissuaded. What the impact would have been on The Incident if GRELs instead of MILICIA troops had been in Lance Point is hypothetical and conjecture is beyond the scope of this inquiry.

Dr. Tomohiro Chambers

4.7 Dr Chambers was chief of staff to the chairman of NuCoal at the time of The Incident until his resignation last cycle. Internal memos demonstrate that he convinced Mr. Malcom not to deploy GRELs, further evidence shows he lobbied other members of the NuCoal committee to vote the same way. This breach of conduct and procedural norms pales in comparison with allegations that he was reliably informed that the MILICIA would react violently to the workers’ revolt and still fought against GREL deployment as an alternative.

Volume I - Chapter 5

The overall assessment

5.1 The deaths and injuries resulting from the Incident on 10 Autumn 1931 were the result of armed conflict between revolting workers and MILICIA soldiers. As the workers escalated the conflict by moving from strikes and other industrial actions towards armed rebellion, they bear the majority of responsibility. Their responsibilities for death and destruction have gone beyond the scope of the Incident with the terrorist actions of the Badlands Revolutionary Force which has emerged as a by-product of The Incident.

5.2 The MILICIA forces responded with disproportionate force to the threats aligned against them. There is also some contention regarding whether or not events would have degenerated had they maintained their cordon 5km south of the city. After a brief withdrawal, they once again occupy the city maintaining order.

5.3 The Lance Point consortium is largely responsible for establishing a structural social context for discontent through exploitation and repression of overworked and underpaid employees. However, no framework exists for judging such transgressions legally or among peers.

5.4 NuCoal may consider the aftermath of the Incident as an occasion to expand its mandate to legal and moral engagements. Had a military or police agreement been factored into the original economic cooperation, NuCoal may have been indeed obliged to deploy GRELs to Lance Point. NuCoal therefore had no mandate to become involved militarily and this inquiry is sceptical that allowing GRELS to intervene in Lance Point would have avoided bloodshed. What is certain is that opinion polls within the communities forming NuCoal remain vehemently opposed to the notion of using GRELs on Badlanders. Such an act might be the very undoing of NuCoal?

5.5 No individual can be identified with direct culpability. However one person did act in a manner which raises spectres of, at the very least, grave impropriety and at worse, criminal neglect. By acting against GREL deployment, former chief of staff Tom Chambers made a conscious decision to allow certain violence to unfold in Lance Point. We can only speculate his decision was based on political reasons - ones we have alluded to with regards to how GREL intervention would be perceived within the NuCoal. However such considerations should not factor into a basic moral dilemma. Given the choice between a potential disaster and a certain once, Dr Chambers chose certainty. Though he may not have caused the deaths of the 357 people in Lance Point, he actively manoeuvred NuCoal through his influence to insure nothing was done to prevent it.


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