Matar - “One ISK for Midular” said many of the banners at a large protest rally held today. Local police forces estimated the attendance at around two million people, who packed the main promenade of Matar Prime. The protest, organized by political newcomer “Voices of Matar” party, coincided with marches all across the Republic as the government faces ever-growing anger and disillusionment.
The Republic, already under fire for its heavy-handed handling of past protests, responded by stating that it respected the views and opinions displayed at these rallies, and that while it was quite happy for its citizens to enjoy their freedom of speech, it urged the protesters to remain peaceful. The government spokesman took the opportunity to remind attendant press that the numbers at these protests only constituted a relative minority.
The Bloody Hands of Matar, the subject of hot controversy due to their recent violent actions at the Dober Harn riots, have witnessed a swelling of their ranks as dissatisfaction grows. It seems that what once started as a simple ideal and symbol has begun to form into a far more serious movement. Countless newcomers to The Bloody Hands' cause have cited the deep frustration they feel at the perceived callousness of the government's handling of Captain Muritor and of its blatant dismissal of the recent riots and other protests.
Their support from the Ushra'Khan alliance, one that they claimed to model themselves on, has been less apparent. Following the interment of Captain Muritor's body last week, Tar Kovsky stated, “We understand the frustration of groups like The Bloody Hands of Matar, which makes it hard for us to condemn their mistakes. Our people need hope, though, and not continued frustration. If the youth would take a more active role in tribal politics, they might find the solution there…we don't think that attacking the planetary police will accomplish much other than turning people against them”.
While certain Minmatar capsuleer groups such as Namtz'aar k'in have echoed Mr. Kovsky's sentiments, others have stepped forward and praised the Hands' defiance. "The Ushra'Khan need to take a long, hard look at themselves before they decide to comment on other terrorist groups," an unnamed source stated.
Already the images of angry young Matari protesters have defined the rising wave of impatience, and now, with their faces covered in blood-red handprints, they are becoming one of many indicators of a growing momentum behind the Bloody Hands.