Rift Republican Army
The Rift Republican Army (RRA) was a loose society that may have begun as a fraternal organization for retired veterans of the Rim Worlds Army in the Rim Worlds Republic and which at various points in its history acted as both loyal opposition to House Aramis and as defenders of the Rim Worlds Republic.
As much an ideal as an organization, the RRA was structured in a very loose fashion that resembled the cell structure commonly used by insurgent or terrorist groups throughout human history. The RRA lacked any form of formal senior leadership, making it difficult to defeat or destroy as an organization, but was also a popular organization within the Republic accorded a significant degree of legitimacy by the civilian population. In some situations the RRA actively supported the Republic goernment, most commonly when the Republic was threatened by external nations. In other situations the RRA actively worked against the ruler or government of the Republic; the most obvious of these was the civil war fought during the Reunification War between forces loyal to the RRA and forces loyal to First Consul Gregory Amaris.
The RRA had once been a military unit, but by the mid-twenty-sixth century those days were long past; membership of the RRA was still considered an honor, and the majority of the RRA were respectable ex-servicemen. The organization had become something similar to a veteran's organization or association, a society through which the like-minded could provide each other with mutual support. The RRA did contain a radical, extreme fringe, however; that fringe gained considerably notoriety after an incident on Apollo in which the extremists whipped the population of Eleazor up into a rioting frenzy over the a combination of the taxation imposed by Gregory Amaris and the presence of foreign military forces on Republic soil - those foreign military forces being units from the Star League Defense Force. A force of extremists numbering several hundred, all wearing RRA uniforms and headed up by Colonel Janissa DeCoe attacked the headquarters of the Eighth Amaris Dragoons at their barracks in Efrimal Long and a nearby maximum security prison holding dissidents while the rioting was going on; the extremists executed the captured regimental command staff and Dragoon garrison and used the Dragoons' communication equipment to demand the withdrawal of all foreign troops from the Republic and an end to the imprisonment of political rivals by Gregory Amaris.
Amaris reacted by sending in two loyal BattleMech regiments - the Republican Guard and the Fifth Amaris Fusiliers - in a typically brutal move to crush the RRA forces, only for the two regiments to suffer losses at the hands of RRA troops adept at anti-Mech actions. Incensed, Amaris had the site bombarded by artillery and air strikes, an action that killed almost a third of the RRA members present, while many more of the RRA were slain by the loyalist troops encircling the site. He then implemented the Universal Act of Loyalty, making mandatory that all citizens had to swear an oath of loyalty to both the House Amaris and the Star League; those who dissented were branded traitors and had their property confiscated and their civil rights suspeneded, and Amaris willingly starved entire planets into submission to enforce his will.
The Reunification War
Following the imposition of the Universal Act of Loyalty Amaris responded to the issue of the Pollux Proclamation by First Lord Ian Cameron by implementing the Manchester Directive. Whereas Amaris could have implemented the measures needed under the Pollux Proclamation to ensure peace with the Star League without too much protest from the population of the Republic, he instead went further. The Manchester Directive made membership in the RRA illegal, outlawing the organization; in doing so he alienated a broad swathe of the population of the Republic. The radicals who had attacked Efrimal Long were the exception to the norm, and anger at the announcement swiftly turned to dismay when forces loyal to Amaris began actively suppressing RRA groups, seizing property belonging to the RRA or its members and arresting those same members.
Amaris had already begun alienating the population years before when he began actively favouring foreign companies over domestic companies as a means of advancing the industrial and technological base of the Republic, a situation made worse by his high-handed approach to taxation and his willingness to seize property and land as a part of his planned economic development. His attack on the RRA was a tipping point that struck directly at the heart of the population and provoked outright defiance on many worlds and a steadily growing level of chaos in many areas.
The last straw came when Amaris ordered units from the Rim Worlds Army to break a strike in the Diplass Technologies BattleMech factory on Apollo, having declared those striking to be insurgents and traitors. Many of those in the units sent to subdue the strikers were RRA members and when faced with orders to use military force against unarmed civilian strikes a large part of the unit rebelled, declaring that Amaris had lost the moral authority to rule the Republic and that the government had become corrupt and lots its mandate to govern. The striking workers declared the formation of a new government - the Rim Provisional Government (RPG) - and when sent to subdue the workers, Colonel Catherine Dormax of the Seventh Amaris Legionnaires declared her support for the RPG, as did the Eighth Amaris Fusiliers - leaving fully half the BattleMech regiments on Apollo committed to the rebel cause. Amaris was forced to flee to his estates, protected by the forces still loyal to him, but with the spaceport and capital city under RPG control the Republic - and the RRA - were engaged in a state of civil war against his government.
The RRA and RPG were far from unified - extremists were present in both organizations - but the Rim Worlds Army found itself divided, with some units declaring their support for the RRA, some for Amaris, and some attempted to remain neutral. RRA forces put the SLDF barracks on Apollo under siege - a siege that would last for several years - but in defiance of orders from Colonel Dormax, when the RRA broke the siege and captured the surviving members of the garrison, extremists within the RRA executed the SLDF soldiers and mutilated the bodies, placing the RRA on a collision course with the SLDF.
The SLDF formed a task force, drawing on auxiliary forces from the Lyran Commonwealth, Draconis Combine and Free Worlds League in addition to SDLF units, and engaged in a long and bloody military campaign to return the Republic to government control; regardless of Amaris' actions, he remained a Hegemony citizen as well as a Republic citizen and head of the legitimate government. The SLDF's campaign in the Republic led to it being attacked by both factions and saw acts of notable brutality on both sides before the war finally ended in 2596.
The Civil War demonstrated that it was only when members of the RRA came to prominance did it become possible for the government to act against them; high-profile members such as Colonel Dormax could be targetted, but otherwise the organization would continue to endure so long as the Republic endured.
The RRA was sharply divided when Stefan Amaris launched his coup in 2766 and took control of the Terran Hegemony in 2766; hardliners within the RRA applauded Stefan's actions in the belief that it demonstrated the strength and ability of the Republic, but as it became increasingly clear that Stefan had abandoned the Republic for his new Amaris Empire support for him rapidly faded within the RRA. When the SLDF under General Aleksandr Kerensky invaded the Republic many members of the RRA chose to side with the SLDF, and the destruction of the Republic marked the end of the RRA. So many RRA members were disgusted with the Republic that as the Lyran Commonwealth absorbed many Republic worlds they simply concealed their origins, abandoning the RRA.
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 139, "Killing The Dream"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 130, "The Manchester Directive"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 127, "Efrimal Long"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 128, "The Manchester Directive"