2498 Oryx Riots


The 2498 Oryx Riots were a series of violent demonstrations against the Navy presence in Soledad System that occurred on October 5, 2498. Though the root cause of the riots were likely due to years of building tension between local homesteaders and the CSRN, an economic recession and lingering unemployment from the CS-Spartan War were likely factors as well.

Approximately one day prior to the riots, a Navy ship near Oryx Station was impacted by a rogue craft, in what was quickly deemed an act of terrorism against the Navy.

The next day, an organized protest outside Oryx's Navy-controlled planetside starport drew an estimated crowd of 30,000. By 15:00 the crowd had become agitated and the Marines guarding the starport grounds had begun openly displaying their weapons. Media coverage of the event to this point was extremely limited, and most recordings are from independent or out-system news agencies.

Paul Valery speech

At 15:05 local starport time on October 5, Paul Valery, a well-known figure among both local Navy and Oryx resistance groups spoke in front of the crowd. The following is a transcript of his speech:

"People of Oryx, many of you don't know me, many of you do. I am but a man with a heart burning for justice towards the common man, As one who has seen both sides of the coin, I know the position of the Republic Navy.

"They are hard working, and strong. But they don't always represent what is right in the sector. What needs to be done. This task lays in the hands and heads of the people, those who raise up to face new ideals, to attempt to stand up for what they believe in. These people are the ones that history writes about, the ones that stood out in the minds of those who fear these changes.

"The enforcers of these people are the ones you have come into contact with, some of you may know them personally. Some may even be loved ones. Know that it isn't the desires of the individual those in command care about, but use these same people to crush the desires of the people, those who care about the things that matter.

"This gathering here shows the common ideals among the people, that you are ready to stand for what you care and believe in, it is among you that the answer to your dreams and desires stand.

"People of Oryx, this is the ground shattering that you dreamed of, the changes that you desire. Many times you have been pushed into the mud, only to face them again. But look around you, these are the faces of those who have been pushed into the mud as well. Help them as they will help you to rise up! Push where you have been pushed, look to those around you to do the same, if one falls, lift him back up, if they fall? Let the ones they left behind in ashes to pick them up!

"This is your time, the time that you have earned from the struggle you have faced, know that it will be upon those of you who wished to make a stand for what you believed in!"

The outcome

Following Valery's speech, the crowd began chanting "Push!" and moving forward toward the Marine barricade. Both eyewitness reports and later spectrographic analysis of the scene confirm that a plasma device was engaged during the initial press toward the starport. The plasma bolt struck a Marine, and both sides began exchanging sporadic gunfire.

Over the next hour, both Marines and opposition protesters fired weapons at each other at several areas along the starport perimeter. The Marines eventually routed the majority of protesters away from the starport, and the fighting moved to the adjacent suburbs and foothills.

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