Born in the waning years of Alessandro Steiner's reign, the movement is centered on the Alarion Province planet of Novara, a world noted for its extremely liberal democratic government. Spending most of its early years attempting to lobby and support politicians on Tharkad who shared its view, by the era of the Lyran Alliance the movement had switched its strategy to one of grass-root expansion, sending advocates to worlds across the entire breadth of the Lyran realm in an attempt to convince local governments to adopt a more egalitarian system.
While only experiencing moderate success, by 3067 the movement enjoyed substantial support on many worlds of the Alarion Province, especially near the Rim Collection, a nation Democracy Now's then-leader Kalvin Strauss hailed as prime example of the nature of government Strauss envisioned for the Lyran nation.
With Tharkad occupied and Skye going its own way, many Lyran worlds were left to fend for themselves. In some places, pro-democracy movements began and led to violent insurrection. Democracy Now, led by Kalvin Strauss advocated for true democracy in Alarion beginning in 3071, after Alarion was devastated by the Blakists. The organization was headquartered on Novara. A faction of Democracy Now led by Lindon Ashley turned violent in March, when the organization led an open rebellion on Enzesfled. The nobles on Enzesfled put out an urgent call for help, to which the planetary guard on Kaumberg responded. Even as the Kaumberg Planetary Guard landed in May, Batajnica and Calafell were beset by revolts, with more systems falling under unrest into the summer. On 21 December, assassins killed Kalvin Strauss, though an attack on Lindon Ashley failed. Ashley returned in March 3072 to take up the reins of Democracy Now on Novara. In May, Ashley called for the secession of Alarion Province from the Lyran Alliance, then publicly contracted Eriksson's Einherjar as his private army in June.
Jihad - Expansion and Destruction
On the 4th of March 3075 agitators from Democracy Now bombed the Capital Arcology Complex on Ferihegy. The bombing killed more than five thousand people and resulted in a massive public backlash against the Democracy Now movement and its current leader, Lindon Ashley. The capital arcology, Ferihegy Primus, had a population of some 63,000 people before the bombing, sheltered within the self-contained ecology protected by a six-sided pyramid constructed from ferroglass plates mounted over a steel-alloy frame. Key to the protection of the arcology were the flex points, designed to allow the frame and attached plates to adjust to expansion and contraction caused by heating while keeping the toxic nitrogen-cyanide atmosphere of Ferihegy out at all times.
The Democracy Now terrorists detonated fourteen charges in a sequential series that shattered flex points along the south face of the arcology. The explosives had apparently been placed on the outside of the structure, based on the trajectory of the resulting blast fragments, and destroyed entire sections of the ferroglass as well as fracturing the southern face of the arcology in several places. The explosions did the most damage to the zones of the city responsible for aeroponics and yeast production, and the initial explosion killed three hundred people, mainly agricultural workers, those involved in food production and maintenance personnel. The explosions caused an emergency network of bulwarks and locks to seal off the heart of the city, but between four and a half and five thousand more perished from cyanide poisoning from the toxic atmosphere before the emergency measures succeeded in sealing off the remainder of the city. More damaging still to the viability of the ecology was the loss of the vital zones responsible for feeding the population, damage that would take years to repair.
Lindon Ashley released prerecorded messages on a number of worlds claiming that the attack would have been impossible in a state where the citizens were willing participants and supporters of the government, as such citizens would have fought to prevent the bombing; Ashley argued that the bombing had in fact only been possible because the citizens who witnessed the preparations for the bombing were so disenfranchised from the state that fatalism prevented them from interfering. However, casting doubt on this statement - a reiteration of many of the key points from previous speeches given by Ashley - was that the recording made no specific mention of Ferihegy or of explosions, suggesting that the message had been prepared in advance for use in the event of any major incident for which Democracy Now could claim credit.
List of Leaders of Democracy Now
|Kalvin Strauss||3067 - 3071|
|Lindon Ashley||3067 - 3075|
- Handbook: House Steiner, p. 128: "Political Movements - Democracy Now"
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 94: "Internal Politics and Policies"
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3072, p. 19
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3072, p. 33: "Arming the Electorate"
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3076, p. 12: "Timeline of the Jihad"
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3076, p. 13: "Timeline of the Jihad"
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3076, pp. 16–17: "Timeline of the Jihad"
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3076, p. 20: "Timeline of the Jihad"
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3076, p. 21: "Timeline of the Jihad"
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3076, pp. 22–23: "Timeline of the Jihad"
- Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 15: "Timeline of the Jihad"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 53: "The Jihad in Review"
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3076, pp. 20–22: "Ferihegy Capital Arcology Bombed, Thousands Dead"