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Newsfeed From Nowhere is a timeline made by Nathan1123 as part of the randomized dystopia challenge. The decade assigned to this timeline is the 1900s, or the first decade of the twentieth century.
This timeline creates a world dominated by anarchist movements, heavily influenced by William Morris' book News From Nowhere published in 1890.
American Worker's Rebellion, 1901-1905
After Bresci's success at temporarily taking control of the Italian Government, the American anarchist Leon Czolgosz began organizing his own coup in August of 1900. A conglomerate of anarchist groups around the country came together under the umbrella name of "The Combined Worker's Union" or CWU.
In July of 1900, Theodore Roosevelt was informed by representatives of the Vanderbilt Railroad Company that he is being removed as candidate for vice president, but is instead replaced with Vanderbilt's Attorney Chauncey Depew. Roosevelt was outraged, seeing this as a clear coup by the monopolies which he stood against to take control of the government. In September, the CWU approached Roosevelt as a key figure in their revolution.
Czolgosz began planting his men around the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York almost as soon as it opened, in May of 1901. By the end of August, the Fair was teeming with over 90 conspirators. The movements of their targets had been coordinated ahead of time, as it was well-publicized where the executives would be for photographs. President William McKinley and his cabinet arrived on September 5, accompanied by a panel of associates provided by Vanderbilt and other monopolies.
At exactly 4:15 PM on September 6, Czolgosz launched the attack. Chauncey Depew was admiring JP Morgan's new electrical wonders in the Electricity Building when he was lit up by a blaze of revolvers, taking all his associates with him. Secretary of State John Hay was among the thicket of the Agricultural Building when a bushel of anarchists sprouted from the doors armed with rifles. Finally, as the final crescendo, Czolgosz saved President McKinley for himself, leading a full frontal assault that filled the Temple of Music with a cacaphony of bullets.
By 5:03 PM, when it was clear that Czolgosz' bloody exposition could not be held down by the Fair's own security, the Pinkerton Detective Agency was telegraphed, who arrived with 60 men at 6:10 PM. Although outnumbered, the Pinkertons were much better equipped, quickly forcing Czolgosz to fall back to the Temple of Music at 7:06 PM. Czolgosz and his compatriots were finally arrested by 9:30 AM the following morning, September 7. Known in newspapers as the Battle of the Fair, this act initially shocked the nation at so much blood loss in one day. But, for the otherwise unaffiliated workers of the nation, it seemed that the monopoly's puppet in the White House was finally dead, as was the entire chain of command for the nation.
Returning to his ranch in South Dakota, Theodore Roosevelt rallied his Rough Riders to liberate the Midwest of capitalist oppression, simultaneous with Czolgosz' plot. Throughout September and October of 1901, the Rough Riders made a series of attacks against key military points around the plains, setting up a small empire in the region which Roosevelt ruled. Between these guerrilla tactics and the decapitation of the US government at Buffalo, the nation was helplessly split with all communication between the east and west coasts sabotaged. After an initial success at the Battle of Kansas City on October 25, the reorganized US military under corporate control began pushing back the Rough Riders from November 1901 until February 1902, forcing them back as far as St. Paul. However, even then Roosevelt was too determined to be taken in yet, dragging on this campaign until the CPS's revitalization late in 1902. By the end of the Revolution in 1905, half the Plains were under Roosevelt's control.
Siege of Washington
After seeing the initial success of Czolgosz in Buffalo, an unarmed protest of several hundred from the CWU marched into Washington, DC on September 7, 1901, gathering in Columbus Circle. The local policemen and other civic authorities, mostly under the pay of national corporations, attempted to put down this gathering with bludgeoning weapons, injuring many of them and killing four. This initial attack caused an uproar from the local citizens of Washington, who saw this as an overreaction of violence. And so Columbus Circle quickly filled up with more and more citizens, men and women, until several officers were taken down and killed by sheer force of numbers. The rest turned back and retreated, taken as victory by the workers, who's strength had now grown to a few thousand. The Combined Workers Union, now taking charge of this mass of citizens, decided to take on the more revolutionary name of the Committee of Public Safety, setting up their new office in Union Station.
By the morning of September 8, all of Washington was in turmoil. No business was safe from the riots of workers plundering them for supplies. All the wealthy politicians and corporate owners fled the city, and Baltimore as well. The US military prepared heavier altillary against the city, but dared not use it for fear of the people. The supplies plundered were rounded up and redistributed to the populace by the Committee of Public Safety, mainly using Churches such as the National Cathedral as gathering points. The whole Baltimore-Washington area was upturned by September 17.
At this news, the military closed in to lay siege to the city, on orders of the new corporate legislature that had taken control. General William Shafter was placed in command of the siege, and he quite brilliantly decided to approach cautiously while the CPS was still celebrating their victory. In the early morning of September 22, a body of soldiers entered from the northwest corner of Columbus Circle, approaching Union Station. Scarcely had the CPS had time to react to this that a larger battalion came up from the south behind the station. But rather than directly engaging, these forces worked instead to press the crowd of Columbus Circle closer together, until they were one mass unable to move on their own power.
After General Shafter launched the attack, the Battle of Columbus Circle was described by one eye-witness this way:
A glittering officer on horseback came prancing out from the ranks on the south, and read something from a paper which he held in his hand; which something, very few heard; but I was told afterwards that it was an order for us to disperse, and a warning that he had legal right to fire on the crowd else, and that he would do so. The crowd took it as a challenge of some sort, and a hoarse threatening roar went up from them; and after that there was comparative silence for a little, until the officer got back into the ranks. I was near the edge of the crowd, towards the soldiers, and I saw three little machines being wheeled out in front of the ranks, which I knew for mechanical guns. I cried out, “Throw yourselves down! they are going to fire!” But no one scarcely could throw himself down, so tight as the crowd were packed. I heard a sharp order given, and wondered where I should be the next minute; and then—It was as if—the earth had opened, and hell had come up bodily amidst us. It is no use trying to describe the scene that followed. Deep lanes were mowed amidst the thick crowd; the dead and dying covered the ground, and the shrieks and wails and cries of horror filled all the air, until it seemed as if there were nothing else in the world but murder and death. Those of our armed men who were still unhurt cheered wildly and opened a scattering fire on the soldiers. One or two soldiers fell; and I saw the officers going up and down the ranks urging the men to fire again; but they received the orders in sullen silence, and let the butts of their guns fall. Only one sergeant ran to a machine-gun and began to set it going; but a tall young man, an officer, too, ran out of the ranks and dragged him back by the collar; and the soldiers stood there motionless while the horror-stricken crowd, nearly wholly unarmed (for most of the armed men had fallen in that first discharge), drifted out of the Square. I was told afterwards that the soldiers on the west side had fired also, and done their part of the slaughter. How I got out of the Square I scarcely know: I went, not feeling the ground under me, what with rage and terror and despair.
After the battle, six US soldiers were killed and12 wounded, while the number of the workers slain were over 2700. The rest were arrested along with those arrested at Buffalo.
After the Battle of Columbus Circle, the US military had reclaimed the capital. But with the Federal Government in chaos, the military had to step in to take control over the nation. Many states, however, did not want to follow along with this violation of the constitution, and the federal union began to disintegrate. Meanwhile, the military had to see to further suppression of the riots, including a trial for the Committee of Public Safety and Leon Czolgosz. This military government,
Great efforts were made by the military to suppress any news of the massacre, but many leftist newspapers quickly spread word of the late tragedy. The editors of these papers, of course, were quickly arrested, but the damage had been done. The dispensing of justice for the CPS, which took three months to deliberate until March 1902, ended with a complete acquittal for the leaders, and charges of misconduct for the soldiers.
Over the next two years, the military continued to make war against the Rough Riders in the mid-west, as well as attempt to establish control over the fallen states. But while they were thus preoccupied, the CPS continued to garner support among the working people all over America, even spreading to Canada as well. By April of 1904, most major cities of the nation had strong groups of supporters for the CPS.
Finally, in April 1904 the corporate government decided to take direct action. Announcing the CPS as a threat to society, they began shooting their members left and right, immediately arresting their leaders and putting them in federal prison.
Great American Strike
On the morning of May 7, 1904, the once packed streets of New York were suddenly devoid of life. No street sweepers, newsboys, or icemen could be seen in any direction, and neither did any trolley, bus or engine clank through the city. Even the billowing plumes of noxious chemicals were no longer visible from the factory roofs. Only a few strangled news bulletins remained to issue that the GENERAL STRIKE had begun. Every farm, ever factory, every major and minor business across the east coast had frozen solid. The only few businesses that remained open were the ones directly controlled by the robber barons and their lackeys.
By May 10, the military government of the US were so starved by this strike that they released the leaders of the Committee of Public Safety from prison, pleading that they cut off this suicidal endeavour. Once freed, however, the CPS rallied their forces in greater earnest, coordinating a communist government in the Appalachian mountains in an alliance with the Rough Riders of Dakota. This new anarchic nation pooled and distributed the resources accrued during the strike. For the Committee were no fools. Not only had they orchestrated this General Strike before being carted off to prison, but they also included a proviso that the workers would still manufacture goods, but in secret for the sake of the committee. By November of 1904, the economic centers from New York to Chicago had all but collapsed, with the CPS deploying fresh troops to reclaim the mid-western states for the new anarchy.
Battle of Cumberland
With the military government in Washington thus thrown into chaos by the strike, and seeing their grip on the nation slip through their fingers, the robber barons ordered one final charge against the Committee of Public Safety, led by General Shafter. Meanwhile, the CPS amassed their forces to march on Washington, led by Theodore Roosevelt. The two forces met at Cumberland, MD in March of 1905. General Shafter was quick and decisive to claim the main bridge to the city, as well as most of the high ground. However, Roosevelt had Shafter outnumbered, outgunned with supplies, and superior determination, as guns blazed across the river for three days from March 15-18 of 1905. On March 19, Roosevelt led a daring charge around the river and up the ravine against the opponents, crushing them in defeat that afternoon. the casualties on the establishment side were almost 20,000, of which 12,000 were due to starvation and disease. The casualties on the victor's side were only 318, with about 500 wounded.
Capitalizing on this victory, the anarchists proceeded to capture the Capital once more, crushing what resistance was left in the Second Battle of Washington on April 3, 1905. However, due to the state of the Baltimore-Washington area after months of starvation, terrible diseases had festered in the city, claiming a good 700 of the invading forces, almost twice the casualties in the Battle of Washington. Among those that died was the great General Theodore Roosevelt himself.
The Committee of Public Safety, now led by Leon Czolgosz, proclaimed a free communist state over the nation, but without the charisma of Roosevelt, it's control over the state quickly disappeared. Soon the entire nation of of America, save only for the west coast, had fallen into anarchy. This chaos soon began to spread into the Northwest Territories of Canada, which were sympathetic to the CPS's cause.
Russian Worker's Revolution, 1905-1908
After many years of oppression under the Tsardom of Russia, a huge protest of 150,000 protesters rose up in strike in St. Petersburg in December of 1904, while the Revolution in America was still raging. The Royal guards of Tsar Nicholas II pressed in to the crowd in an attempt to peacefully quell the uprising on January 7. But, as the workers continued to resist, the guards resorted to bludgeoning weapons, killing a few of the riot, including their leader Father Gregory Gabon while he was shielding someone else. Seeing their leader dead, the riot almost went into tumult, but then the Bolsheviks took charge on January 8 and redirected the mass against the Winter Palace, where the Tsar resided. In desperation, the military were immediately ordered to fire into the crowd, killing over 3,000 of them and scattering the rest.
Russian General Strike
The Russian anarchist groups led by Victor Chernov and Vladimir Lenin proceeded with a series of assassinations throughout January and February, while continuing to further organize their resistance. Peasant uprising began in June and July in the farther eastern districts, toppling regional governments. Still considering himself to have the upper hand militarily, Tsar Nicholas called for a meeting of equals in October of 1905. While Lenin worked to thus distract the government in Moscow, Chenov coordinated with Lieutenant Peter Schmidt to launch a coup within the military, paralyzing the government's resources. After Sevastapol was taken in November, a new uprising took place in Moscow on December 7, led by Nikolai Schmidt. By December 12, the all the railways leading into the city were in rebel hands, but the troops within the city were able to force the rebels into retreat on December 17. This retreat allowed the rebels to reorganize farther east.