Blue Revolution (Carloso)
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|Date||23 August 2010 – 11 November 2010|
|Methods||Demonstrations, civil disobedience|
|Resulted in||National Salvation victory
|Parties to the civil conflict|
The Blue Revolution (Spanish: Revolución Azul) was a period of civil conflict and general political unrest that occurred in the months leading up to the 2010 Carlosian general election. Though it is still debated when exactly the Blue Revolution began, most people agree that it was the wave of protests which took place on 23 August 2010 against the Conservative–Democratic coalition's plans to hold a referendum on the Constitution of Carloso's total ban on abortion. It is widely agreed that the Blue Revolution had a profound effect on Carlosian political and civil life, directly responsible for what has been widely regarded as the greatest electoral shock in Carlosian history.
Mass defections and popular uproar over President Irizar's handling of the demonstrations crippled the Conservatives and resulted in the decimation of the two dominant parties; the centre-right Conservatives and centrist Democrats, who had both dominated Carlosian politics since the late 19th century. National Salvation came several seats short of a majority in the 2010 election, but managed to enter a coalition with the newly formed Rural Independents Group and form a government. Spalding declined to be nominated President, resulting in Tobón being chosen instead.
In the aftermath of the Bourgougian Blitz and the Carlosian intervention in the Acrary Civil War, Carloso had experienced an unprecedented level of economic and political dominance over the continent of Musgorocia. However, by the middle of the 2000s, economic growth had faltered and there were fears that the country was going to enter a recession. At the same time, there were signs that society was beginning to change as well. The influence of Christian churches; particularly the Catholic Church, over Carlosians was beginning to wane, and there were growing calls to liberalise Carlosian laws. At first, the Democrat-led rainbow coalition legalised the sale and distribution of contraceptives for the first time, followed by the introduction of same-sex civil partnerships.
Backlash from more conservative elements of Carlosian society, plus concerns about economic prosperity dominated the closely fought 2005 election. The Catholic Church and Presbyterian Church in Carloso launched a joint campaign against the Democratic Party and the other parties of the rainbow coalition, with clergy actively denouncing the parties from the pulpit. This resulted in the Democrats being severely weakened and victory for the Conservative Party, who managed to achieve a plurality within the Parliament of Carloso. The disappointing result led to a breakdown in relations between the Democrats, Socialist Republics and Progressive Democrats, threatening Carlosian political stability. Over the following two months of negotiations, the Conservatives and Democrats entered negotiations to form a government before February, announcing a deal on 3 January 2006 that would have Montero Irizar as President and Democratic MPs getting the ministerial portfolios of Justice and Social Welfare. As part of the deal, the Conservative leadership agreed to facilitate the social reforms started by the rainbow coalition in the previous term, including the legalisation of divorce, the prospective introduction same-sex marriage and the eventual liberalisation of the country's total ban on abortion.
At the same time, a large number of young Conservative politicians who had fought in the Bourgougian Blitz were beginning to garner considerable amounts of influence in the Carlosian political sphere. In particular, individuals like George Spalding, Cárlos Tobón and Estebán Santander had become household names in Carloso. Eventually, they became distinct from the rest of the Conservative Party for their particularly socially conservative views and anti-communism. Early on, however, they failed to wield much power within the Conservative Party. As concerns about the Democratic agenda amongst Conservative veterans began to come to the fore, the views held by the Blitz veterans began to gain momentum within the party. Amidst much internal pressure, Tobón was eventually appointed to the influential position of Minister for Finance in 2007 during the cabinet reshuffle, proposing sweeping new budgetary measures to revitalise the Carlosian economy. The Democrats blocked his reforms, however. Tension between the Democrats and the more right-wing faction within the Conservative Party began to build as the government's tenure progressed. The breaking point would come when President Irizar announced his intentions to hold a referendum on the constitutional ban on abortion in the Constitution of Carloso.
The pro-abortion movement had become very active starting with the turn of the new millennium, holding mass demonstrations in Madrigal and other major cities every year. Several prominent campaigners had made their way into the upper echelons of the Democratic Party, causing leader Michael Gallagher to pressure Irizar into holding the referendum. In 2015, the Kerr Tribunal found that Gallagher, Irizar and officials from pro-abortion lobby groups had secretly discussed how to make the proposal more palatable to the 'typically sceptical' Carlosian electorate. Irizar officially announced in June 2010 that the referendum would coincide with the general election on the 11 November that year. Tobón and other, like-minded members of the Conservative Party immediately notified Irizar of their disapproval, though initially made nothing of it.
Timeline of events
Plans for the referendum hit an unexpected road block when the Carlosian High Court ruled on the Q v. Cochrane case. Q, the plaintiff, had been born with various physical disabilities after a violent assault by the defendant on their mother while they were in utero. Under tort law, Q claimed D£500,000 in damages from the defendant. The matter was brought before the High Court, with the sitting judge ruling that unborn children enjoy the exact same legal protection as a human, regardless of the 19th Amendment, citing various case law examples during the judgement and awarding the damages. The Conservative–Democratic government now feared that repealing the amendment would be pointless as the unborn would still be protected, regardless of whether the article was repealed or not. The Attorney General decided to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court, beginning the landmark Attorney General v. Q case.
Pro-abortion demonstrators protested outside the High Court in Madrigal as the deliberations concluded. The High Court judge issued an order for the protesters to disperse, reasoning that the anonymity of Q was under threat. The 300 or so strong group refused to disperse, and the Madrigal Metropolitan Police Service corralled and arrested all of them on the grounds of contempt of court. Though the case had finished, the arrests led to over 4,500 pro-abortion demonstrators to protest outside the High Court. They eventually dispersed peacefully.
As the date for the beginning of Supreme Court proceedings on Attorney General v. Q drew nearer, the pro and anti-abortion movements were galvanised into mass action. Tens of thousands were drawn to the streets outside the Supreme Court in Madrigal. The police tried to keep the two groups separate, trying to avoid any escalation into violence. The Supreme Court was scheduled to make a ruling on 5 September 2010. Madrigal City Centre was practically shut down for several weeks as the case continued. Meanwhile, Tobón and his allies in the Conservative Party met in secret and discussed what their next move would be if the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the government and the referendum went ahead.
Storming of the Supreme Court building
– Muruaga de Hinostroza
On 5 September 2010, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favour of the government, overruling the decision of the High Court and declaring that the right to life of the unborn did not extend beyond the 19th Amendment. Dissenting Justice Muruaga de Hinostroza shockingly denounced his colleagues in his own oral judgement, resigning from his seat in the Supreme Court. Almost immediately, violence broke out outside between the pro and anti-abortion supporters, completely overwhelming the police. It is unknown who started it, but people managed to break down the main door and storm the building. While de Hinostroza had already left the building, the other Justices were still inside. Within half an hour, a large portion of the building was engulfed in fire. Dozens were killed, including three of the Supreme Court judges.
As soon as news of the violence had reached the government, Tobón, Santander, Spalding and several other Conservative MPs informed Irizar that they were resigning from the party. They quickly registered National Salvation as a new political party to stand in the next general election.
Mass rioting begins
By the next day, violence had spread to almost every major city in Carloso.
By the morning of 8 September, it became apparent that the Madrigal Metropolitan Police Service were unable to effectively counteract the demonstrations. Overnight riots had spread to the suburbs of Madrigal and there were widespread reports of arson and looting. Mass protests and violence had also broken out in cities across Carloso. At 13:07 President Irizar contacted General Régulo Moran; Commander of the First Army, directly and ordered him to put down the demonstrations in Madrigal. Moran refused to obey Irizar's orders. He was immediately dismissed as Commander of the First Army but Moran refused to acknowledge this. Irizar later attempted to get in contact with the commanders of the Second and Third Armies, but neither responded to his phone calls. According to witness accounts from his aides at the time, Irizar began to fear that the military were working with the opposition and that they would attempt to execute a coup.
Within an hour, Moran had ordered armoured vehicles to enter the city and surround government department buildings. Tanks rolled down the Avenue to the Federal Republic and sealed off the Palace of the Parliament. The swiftness of the operation caught the central government completely off guard. Irizar denounced Moran's intervention as a "coup d'état", threatening publicly to have him court-martialled for treason. By 18:39 the First Army had seized control of all roads leading into the city and soldiers had been deployed to protect anti-abortion demonstrators from law enforcement. At this stage, the city was being placed under de facto martial law. The Madrigal Metropolitan Police Service was effectively disarmed by the military and officers were ordered back into their stations. Several incidences of armed clashes between soldiers and police officers who refused to demobilise were reported, with the most serious occurring in the suburb of East Bethsaida. Five police and one soldier were killed, with many more injured.
In the early hours of 9 September, an army patrol caught President Irizar and Minister for External Affairs Thomas MacFhearchair trying to escape Madrigal via a back road. While Irizar was swiftly returned to the Presidential Palace and placed under house arrest, MacFhearchair was interrogated by military police, revealing that the two men had planned to flee Carloso and seek asylum in neighbouring Agostinia. Moran held a press conference outside the Palace of the Parliament and informed news media about Irizar's attempt to leave Carloso. Overnight, Irizar's approval ratings plummeted. The same day, Tobón made a fiery speech atop a FV5295 Cerberus tank destroyer to 100,000 supporters at the entrance to the Parliament of Carloso, denouncing Irizar as a "coward" and a "thundering disgrace", demanding he resign from office immediately.