New Caldari – Kaalakiota Corporation factory workers who were demonstrating against what they believed to have been failures of Tibus Heth's administration to properly implement reforms and provide safeguards against corporate stock values were massacred by the Home Guard and State Peacekeepers, apparently acting on orders from Kaalakiota executives.
Protestors began gathering on and around New Caldari Prime at 14:00 EST this afternoon to protest a number of issues they believed were being ignored by Kaalakiota management and had been prevented from being brought to the attention of State Executor Tibus Heth. The protests were peaceful, with no violence, when members of the State Peacekeepers, in full combat gear, arrived on the scene. The State Peacekeepers announced that the employment contracts of the protestors had all been terminated for cause and ordered them to disperse.
The protestors refused, however, and reports indicate several projectiles were hurled at State Peacekeeper forces. The State Peacekeepers attempted to respond with non-lethal weaponry, prompting a riot from the protestors. As terrified protestors fled, members of Expert Intervention, who had been hired to provide security for the demonstrators opened fire, sparking a firefight that lasted for roughly two hours. Eventually, the State Peacekeepers initiated a tactical retreat from the area after being overwhelmed by the Expert Intervention forces.
After the fighting planetside calmed, protestors remained in space. At roughly 19:00 EST, they undocked from the Chief Executive Panel station and demanded to speak directly to Tibus Heth. However, while numerous capsuleers were present in support of the protestors, a fleet of Home Guard ships arrived on the scene and demanded the protestors dock. When they summarily refused, the Home Guard commander announced the termination of the protestors' employment and opened fire.
While capsuleers scrambled to provide logistical support to save the freighters, DED officer Ortar Heff arrived on scene and demanded the immediate cessation of aggression by the Home Guard forces. When they failed to comply, he issued a broad “suspect” warning to each of them, allowing full aggression from the enraged capsuleers.
A solitary Home Guard pilot turned his weapons on his own fleet, but he and the capsuleers were not capable of bringing down the other Home Guard pilots in time to prevent the destruction of both freighters, though they came perilously close to saving the second. After the second's destruction, Officer Heff initiated the CONCORD Criminal Response systems, destroying the remnants of the Home Guard fleet.
Despite the destruction of the freighters, over 3500 of the roughly 5500 protestors survived, where they were gathered by capsuleers and transported to safety.
Kaalakiota Corporation released a statement on the situation, saying, “The workers were terminated with cause for acts detrimental to the corporation. They initiated riots planetside and their hired muscle attacked State police forces. Meanwhile, we have reason to believe they were planning on committing terrorist acts in space, such as crashing their freighters into the CEP station. Remembering the Malkalen incident, Home Guard acted with haste to prevent such a disaster from repeating itself.”
The other megacorps have reacted with horror to the events, with Ishukone CEO Mens Reppola declaring, “This was a criminal act of mass murder. Why it was allowed to proceed is completely beyond my comprehension. Those responsible for the attack on innocent, unarmed civilians should be brought before the Kaalakiota criminal tribunals and punished for their actions to the full extent of corporate law.”
Sukuuvestaa Corporation CEO Kuikiainen Onita echoed the sentiments, saying, “This never would have happened under SuVee. We provide a safe working environment for our employees and are not in the business of killing them. Justice must be served.”
Tibus Heth released a brief statement on the events, saying, “The loss of any Caldari citizen's life is unfortunate. I will launch a full investigation into the events to ensure that all proper procedures were followed in the matter.”