The Hackney Massacre occured on the Hackney Common just outside the Hackney Borough Council Building in Waverley, Hippostania and involved the shooting of unarmed protestors by soldiers of the 385th Military Police Regiment on Monday, July 28th 1969. The soldiers fired 332 rounds over a period of three minutes, killing thirty-eight protestors and wounding further 207, eighteen of whom suffered permanent paralysis.
Most of the protesters were protesting against the lack of public healthcare and welfare, Hippostanian military interventions in several left-wing countries and general conservatism of the Hippostanian society. Two of the people who were killed had been walking nearby or observing the protest from a distance.
The Hackney Massacre is often seen as a turning point in Hippostanian politics; the Red Scare got a permanent hold on Hippostania and everything even remotely leftist was repressed. Following the massacre, the government took aggressive actions against the hippie movement and the center-left New People's Party was ousted from the Parliament.
It was never identified who gave the order the fire or why the order was given. Nobody was never charged for the murders of the protestors.
Unlike many European countries who had started to develop their health care and welfare systems after WWII, Hippostania never did this. Instead, the government gave people tax cuts so they could afford their own medical insurance. While this mostly worked just fine, the most unfortunate members of society were often left without healthcare and died on the streets.
In the 1960's, the hippie movement reached Hippostania. The hippies' ideals of peace, love, recreational drug use and rejection of authorities spread like wildfire among the young population. There were several protests and musical events around the country, and the PEA reported an all-time high on recreational drug use. The center-left New People's Party won 137 out of 500 seats in the 1968 parliamentary elections.
On July 27th, several leaflets were handed out around Hackney University, urging the students to come and protest against the inequality in Hippostania. While the police officially discouraged anyone from joining, it did not ban the protest. The Hackney University dean urged the students not to join the protest, but this had little to no effect.
At around 8am, the first protesters started arriving on the Hackney Common, a small square next to the Hackney Borough Council Building. By 10am there were at least 4000 protesters on the scene. The Waverley Police Department didn't believe that it could handle the protest that might grow violent by themselves and asked military police assistance from the Princess Hill Army Base around 20 kilometers away. By 11am the first military police officers started arriving and around 12am the last civilian police officers left the area. At 12am there were around 34,000 protesters in the area and the number was constantly growing.
Initially, the military police surrounded the entire area, but after seeing that the protest was peaceful and that they didn't have enough manpower to surround the Common, the officers decided to gather in the northern part of the Common and protect the busy Hackney High Street and Hackney Borough Council Building. Despite the large size of the protest, the officers decided that there was no reason to break the protest up or call for reinforcements.
According to all reports, the protest was peaceful. This was proven by footage shot by two independent CCTV cameras and several eyewitness accounts. However, at 12.24pm, approximately 30 minutes since the civilian police officers had left, the soldiers of the 385th Military Police Regiment opened fire on the protesters. The bullets covered the entire area of the Common, reaping the entire crowd down in less than three minutes. All people in the first two lines of the crowd perished, while the farthest death took place on Sheldon Street where two passerbys were killed. Many of those who were shot were not killed instantly, instead, they died of blood loss or shock before the paramedics and first responders could arrive.
The first paramedics started arriving around 12.35pm. The Military Police withdrew back to Princess Hill and the Waverley Police Department took control of the area at 12.40pm. The area within six-block radius of Hackney Common was immidiately isolated after the events.
The Hackney Massacre is often seeing as a turning point in Hippostanian politics. After the massacre, the liberal center-left New People's Party was ousted from the government and the Red Scare got a permanent hold on Hippostanian politics. While initially the massacre caused a massive response, within a few days most newspapers stopped reporting about it and the event was mostly forgotten. Within the next few years after the protest, the government prevented any leftist political groups from forming and rather succesfully covered up the shooting, stating that it had turned into a violent riot and the officers were acting in self-defense. The goverment admitted that the protest had been peaceful in 1993, but it never apologized for the massacre. Despite the government's attempt to cover up the massacre, the Hackney Borough Council erected a small memorial on the Hackney Common in 1971.
None of the soldiers were ever prosecuted for the shooting. The soldiers claimed that they had fired in self-defence and the courts generally accepted this, even after the Hippostanian government admitted that the protest had been completely peaceful in 1993.
Today, speaking about the Hackney Massacre is considered to be rude and unpatriotic. While there are associations promoting knowledge about the Hackney Massacre, they aren't widely known to the general public. School books generally only briefly mention the massacre.
The picture of an unidentified girl (who was later identified to be Jennifer Jenny Teterboro) putting a flower in a soldier's gun barrel is the only known photograph of the shooting, as the police emptied the area of any journalists shortly after 11.30 (which caused disagreements between the police and the RTI News team who was in Hackney).
- ArghNeedAName: President Henry Datson condemned the massacre as "savage and inhumane" and called on the government to apologise for its behaviour and properly investigate the causes. "The decision to fire live ammunition at a peaceful protest is utterly despicable." Prime Minister George Poulton denounced Hippostania as "a liability to the free world". The subsequent crackdown on left wing groups further strained relations between Hippostania and ArghNeedAName during the 1970s, while ArghNeedAName persued a policy of rapprochment with communist countries and offered political assylum to several prominent Hippostanian leftists, but relations improved with the election of hardline anti-communist president Thomas Argon in 1980.
- Crystal Spires: The High Council of Crystal Spires condemned the act of unsolicited state murder by Hippostania calling it a blatant violation of humane rights, civil, and political rights and the Spirean High Chancellor Verys Altric granted political asylum to all Hippostanian leftists. Spireans welcomed leftist refugees to Crystal Spires. High Chancellor Altric responded to Hippostania with a harsh embargo, but during the Wars of Attrition, Verys was too busy to declare further sanctions, it was believed that had the High Council the manpower, they would have declared war upon Hippostania. The Wars of Attrition however were raging in Mystria which did not allow for military intervention. Spireans still lament the day of loss and hold vigils for the fallen on the day of the massacre and the civilians murdered were written in the Book of Ages.
- Iglesian Archipelago: The country strongly condemned the acts against the hippie demonstrators, considering the act "blatantly inhumane" and a violation to free speech and democracy. As a result, the Iglesians welcomed the leftists from Hippostania to their country and the Iglesian President granted asylum to all of them. Because of the massacre, 312 people were given asylum in Iglesiantis. Within the IA, the RTI was accused by conservatives of pro-hippie bias. Many Iglesian newspapers, like The Sphere and 360 Degrees, also accused the Hippostanian military police of brutality. The Iglesians never forgot the Hackney Massacre, and see this as an act of brutality, a "declaration of war on the hippie movement" and a violation to the right to freedom of speech. From this day on, the Iglesians usually call their own country as "Hippiestania" to compare Iglesiantis to Hippostania. Some Iglesian critics say that the arrival of the paramedics were exclusively used "to give the illusion that injured protesters were being treated in hospitals" and that actually no protester was treated, that the admittance of pacifism in the protests made in 1993 by the Hippostanian government was false and/or that the plaque which was erected on Hackney Common two years after the massacre was actually built by the protesters' supporters rather than the Hackney Borough Council. Los Vientos has a sculpture by Antanu Arvyna which was made to remember the victims at Hackney Common.
- Kington Langley - Kington Langley, which was a communist republic during the events, strongly condemned the actions taken by the Hippostanian authorities against the protesters. The socialist stance of those massacred led to widespread propaganda throughout the nation via the state-controlled media. It was not until the restoration of democracy that the public could access information revealing the true extent of atrocities committed by Hippostanian police, however, the Hackney Massacre remains one of the worst cases of civilian execution carried out during peacetime in the eyes of many.
- Luziyca: The Luziycan Government was still in isolation. The communist west condemned it, but the east commended it, from what it got from West Luziyca. Today, speaking of the Hackney Massacre is seen as tantamount to treason against the Luziycan state, after the full records were released in 1993.
- Namor: The Namorese government strongly condemned the atocities committed by the Hippostanian authorities on protesters in the Hackney Massacre. Leader Yunglang Antelope wrote a short essay for Namor's most popular newspaperm The Liberator, titled "On the Hackney Massacre," which stated that these protesters were "concerned about the future of their nation, and decided to tell the government about their concern...only to be met with the government's neglect and tireless persecution." Shortly after the Hackney Massacre, the Namorese government imposed embargoes on Hippostania that weren't softened until 1991.
- Voerdeland: Government of the Voerdish Free State has condemned the massacre. President Daria Boshoff called it "barbaric which has proven that the authorities of Hippostania aren't better than the Eastern Bloc regimes". There is a small monument of the victims in Beaufort. The massacre became a symbol: when someone argues, that the Voerdish authorities should not support leftist movements worldwide, or wonders why even right-wing parties (on the Voerdish political spectrum, which is biased towards left though) welcomed communist refugees from countries such as Hippostania or Imeriata, he is usually told "Remember Hackney!".
- Zokoria: The Zokorian government at that time was neutral towards the massacre, however, Henrik Müller stated in 2009, on the 40th anniversary of the Hackney Massacre, that it serves as a lesson for everyone to resist all forms of leftism and subversive behavior. Speaking about the Hackney Massacre is considered nowadays as offensive and treasonous towards the Norsefire Republic.
In popular culture
- Trip to Hell (film, LZY, 1971, banned 1997 in Luziyca (DPR of), banned in 1971 in North Luziyca)
- Shooting Peace (documentary, IGL, 1989)
- Massacre '69 (film, IGL, 1992)
- War on Peace (film, IGL, 1999)
- The Hackney Effect (documentary, IGL, 2011)
- After Hackney (novel, Suzanne Kuhr, 2012)