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The Achadia Crisis was a political crisis in Acadia focusing on its penguin rights abuses following the high-profile arrest of Hockey Manlet, a symbol of freedom and resistance against oppression in Acadia.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Background
- 1.2 Hockey Manlet's arrest
- 1.3 Fallout in Acadia
- 1.4 Testimony before the Western Union
- 1.5 Acadian Democratization
- 1.6 Brant Esser's Departure
- 2 Reactions from the Political Community
- 3 Trivia
- 4 See Also
In 2015, Hockey Manlet moved to Acadia to run against his old rival Brant Esser for the presidency. Brant ultimately won the election, but Hockey Manlet remained in Acadia and would constantly criticize Brant on Chitter. Although most of Brant's critics ended up being imprisoned, Hockey Manlet wasn't, and soon became a symbol of freedom and resistance against the Essers' oppression.
Hockey Manlet's arrest
On November 21, 2018, an arrest warrant was issued for Hockey Manlet's arrest after years of criticizing Brant Esser on Chitter and "long term violations" of Acadia's laws against hate speech towards High Penguins. A few minutes later, dozens of Acadian police cars and a SWAT truck surrounded the Thunderbeak Mansion and Hockey Manlet was taken into custody without any incident and was driven away in a Gendarmerie car in full view of the Acadian press, which had gathered in front of his house. He was taken to a prison located on a small island off the coast of Acadia island to await his trial.
Hockey Manlet had long been a critic of the Acadian government, an act that got many people arrested, but the government had hesitated to arrest him, fearing backlash, and instead fined him around 5,000 Acadian francs each time he cheeped or said something controversial. It is unknown why the government decided to arrest Hockey Manlet at this time, although there have been several theories. Hockey Manlet was charged with hate speech against High Penguins and disorderly conduct.
The arrest and charges backfired because it brought attention to Acadia's penguin rights abuses across Antarctica. Many countries pushed for the release of Hockey Manlet, with Ed Island being the most vocal. Hockey Manlet quickly discovered that the prison was not full of actual criminals, but other penguins like him who committed the "crime" of criticizing Brant and the Acadian government. Hockey Manlet united the other prisoners and became their leader, turning it into a "cool guy hangout", with assistance from the guards who knew the Essers had rigged the system.
Hockey Manlet's trial
Hockey Manlet's trial was originally planned for December 10, but the date was instead changed to November 28 after the fallout from the Achadia Crisis began to spread across Antarctica. During the trial, photocopies of his Chitter cheeps along with transcripts of his past speeches and statements were presented as evidence of his plans to overthrow the Acadian government and his plans to commit genocide of High Penguins. Although his attorney pointed out that he had made no actual preparations to commit either acts, he was declared guilty and sentenced to life in prison. Due to the intervention of the guards who secretly supported him, Hockey Manlet was moved back to his earlier prison, rather than one of Acadia's infamous prisons in the colonies, where there was hard labor.
However, word of what was happening in the prison quickly reached Brant, who decided to deport Hockey Manlet to Club Penguin Island, much to the dismay of the other prisoners. Hockey Manlet returned to Ed Island. The Thunderbeak family immediately sought to join him at Ed Island, no longer feeling secure living in Acadia whatsoever. While trying to exit Acadia through an airport, the two Thunderbeaks were briefly halted at Acadian customs. The reason for the stop went unexplained to them, and their flight was even delayed because of it. It was rumored that Acadian officials were debating whether or not to seize their assets or money, though the origin of these claims remain undefined. In given time, the Thunderbeak's made it back to Ed Island, where Chad Thunderbeak continued his "revolution" from a safe distance.
Fallout in Acadia
Unfortunately for Brant, the damage had been done, and many countries began putting pressure on Acadia. Around the time word spread about Acadia's penguin rights abuses, many foreign ambassadors in embassies in Acadia also began to speak out and criticize Brant and his government, either through speeches or Cheeps. Ed Island pushed several of its allies such as the United Penguin Islands to pull their ambassadors home from Acadia in response to the crisis. Others such as Shops Island and the rest of the Axle Powers were on the verge of permanently closing their embassies in Acadia and expelling Acadian embassies in their own countries, with President Lavender stating he planned on isolating Acadia. In response, Acadia pulled its ambassadors out of the Seal Islands and Culldrome and expelled those countries' ambassadors.
Additionally, the Acadian government, especially President Brant Esser, condemned these acts, calling President Lavender a hypocrite for "sending dozens of diplomats to their deaths while attempting to pursue relations with states such as East Pengolia", while trying to isolate a country that "has a much better penguin rights record". Esser went on to accuse Ed Island of "holding the United Penguin Islands and Pengonia hostage as puppet states of Ed Island" and accused the Axle Powers of "manipulating the Seal Islands, a close Western Union ally". However, Esser seemed to have a change of attitude after a lengthy phone call with the President of the United Provinces, Simon McClark, after which he began trying to negotiate with the nations that had retaliated against Acadia.
Countries Staging Retaliatory Actions
- Axle Powers
- Ninja Archipelago
Testimony before the Western Union
Sometime in late November, the Western Union decided to extend an invitation to Hockey Manlet, Brant Esser and their attorneys and associates to testify before the Western Union Parliament and answer questions from Western Union lawmakers on penguin rights abuses in Antarctica - with Hockey Manlet testifying about his personal experiences and Brant Esser defending his government. Hockey Manlet and Brant Esser both agreed to testify after several days and were set to testify on December 1, 2018. All heads of state stated that what they will proceed with next will be based on the testimonies of Hockey Manlet and Brant Esser, and some leaders have already stated that if Brant Esser doesn't pledge to democratize and release political prisoners that they would propose Acadia's voting rights in the Western Union be suspended.
Particularly because the location of the testimonies is in the capital city of Acadia, Delphi, also the capital city of the Western Union, highly-trained security guards were protecting both Hockey Manlet and Brant Esser, and the entire WU Zone of the city was entirely closed to traffic. There were also large protests outside the WU Zone the night before and the state-owned media in Acadia spread panic that there was a coup attempt ongoing in an attempt to mobilize Esser's voters to support him.
Hockey Manlet's Testimony
Despite the unrest in Delphi that night, the proceedings the next day were orderly and there were no major incidents on the streets of Delphi. The first testimony was Hockey Manlet's and it began at 10 AM Acadia time. Hockey Manlet began his testimony by accusing Acadia's government of transgressing the laws of the Republic of Acadia, as well as international laws, and he accused Brant Esser of effectively "bringing fascism into Acadia". He belittled Brant Esser, calling his ego "super fragile and weak" and saying he was "scared to face the pain and not be able to hide in his office and boss everyone around anymore". He put an emphasis on the fact that he is not the first person to have been arrested by Acadia's government for expressing different views, but that his arrest was the one that put Acadia's penguin rights abuses into the spotlight. He ended his opening speech by stating that the only way for Acadia to be free again and for political prisoners to get justice is through Brant Esser resigning and facing the consequences of his "reckless behavior".
During his speech, Hockey Manlet was repeatedly heckled by Acadian MWPs whom Western Parliament Speaker Jean Pasquier (also an Acadian) threatened to have expelled from the chamber if they do not behave. Jean Pasquier attempted to maintain order during the entire session - he was later praised by Esser's critics for protecting Hockey Manlet's right to speak in spite of such a hostile environment. Other Western Union members behaved well, and for over an hour and a half Hockey Manlet was questioned about his experiences in prison and his attitudes towards Brant Esser, as well as what laws Brant Esser transgressed by silencing dissent.
After Hockey Manlet's testimony, a half-hour lunch break took place for the Western Union Members of Parliament, and then the Brant Esser testimony followed.
Brant Esser's Testimony
Brant Esser gave an incredibly long and very emotional address, accusing "international anti-Acadian forces" of trying to tear down his government. He defended his record and claimed that he hasn't done anything different from what previous administrations have done, and he accused his political opponents of only being different to him because "he dared finally stand up to them instead of always bow down". Following that, he went on how his actions were to "preserve the dignity and sovereignty of the Republic of Acadia", and in an emotional segment he expressed his pride for the achievements made under his administration, believing he has indeed "made Acadia a greater place to live".
He went on how the laws passed under his administration are necessary to "enforce and protect morality" and he accused his "communist" enemies of "being against law and order, peace, morality and freedom", defending the national sovereignty of the Acadian people and saying that his people are "the most hated and reviled in Antarctica because they do not bow down to foreign oppressors, as they have shed much blood to protect their sovereignty and are willing to do it again". In a later response, Hockey Manlet replied that Acadia is a hated country because of Brant's own actions, not those of his fellow Acadians or anyone else. Esser also proclaimed how he devoted his entire life towards serving the people of Acadia, and he declared he is willing to sacrifice his own life to protect its sovereignty. At the end of the speech, he called on his Western Union allies to not listen to smears and to not listen to a "bully" who has "violated Acadian laws multiple times in the past" and "must not be allowed to go unpunished" - he finished his speech with J'aime ma patrie, meaning "I love my fatherland" in French, Acadia's native language.
He was questioned for an even longer amount of time than Hockey Manlet was. He was asked whether Acadia would head on a democratic path going forward - Brant Esser said that "democracy is what he and the founding fathers of Acadia had in mind for the future" and that "he does not dislike democracy, but that there are certain rights that the Acadian people must sacrifice temporarily for the benefit of their country". There were disruptions during his testimony - multiple protestors kept breaking into the chamber and shouting "ESSER DICTATOR! ESSER DICTATOR!" and liberal MWPs questioned him quite aggressively, unlike how they questioned Hockey Manlet. All the testimonies finished by 4 PM, and the members of the Western Union Parliament left the chamber to take questions from reporters.
"I think after this session it has become very clear what the Western Union must do" exclaimed a high-ranking liberal MWP from Duck Island, "Brant Esser has not shown any desire to compromise, he has not shown any willingness to move his country towards another direction."
"I am satisfied by both their testimonies" said a conservative MWP from the Finipines, "Hockey Manlet's testimony was really powerful. An incredible testimony. And Brant Esser handled himself quite well, you could see he was emotional and quite frankly, I understand him."
"Brant Esser has violated every imaginable international law regarding penguin rights" said a socialist MWP from the United Provinces, "The Western Union must suspend Acadia's voting rights until their government agrees to return the rule of law and democracy to their people."
- Shops Island - President Lavender congratulated Hockey Manlet for his bravery and his efforts to expose Acadia's penguin rights abuses. The Shopper president offered asylum to Hockey Manlet if he wished to take it, while stating that Shops Island would "go to all possible lengths" to punish Acadia if Brant did not change his ways.
- Duck Island - The ducks supported Acadia.
The Acadian Parliament quickly went into an emergency session shortly after the start of the crisis on November 29, and began drafting what would be the Eighth Amendment to the Acadian Constitution, which would guarantee freedom of assembly, the press, and speech. Upon hearing of this, Brant Esser vowed to veto it, but instead conceded and offered to negotiate with Parliament over it when he realized that not only had the Western Union backed Parliament, but vetoing the bill would've been highly unpopular with both the Acadian populace and the international community.
On the morning of December 2, after some negotiation between Esser and the Speaker of Parliament Louis Brodeur, Parliament passed the Eighth Amendment by a narrow margin of 53-46, which was promptly signed by Esser. The Eighth Amendment now instilled the rights of freedom of the press and freedom of speech for the first time in Acadian history, although freedom of assembly was notably left out. Some suggested that Esser saw it as a threat to his government, fearing that large numbers of protesters on the streets after the amendment could lead to the overthrow of his government.
On December 4, the Western Union Commission had affirmed that Acadia must democratize greatly or face a possible vote to be suspended from the Western Union. The Western Union Commission said that Acadia's penguin rights infringements have been tolerated for quite some time, and warned Brant Esser to "take our threats seriously" - the Commission also said that the Western Union Charter article stating all member states must uphold penguin rights "will no longer be ignored and swept aside" and said that the Western Union will no longer have any tolerance with penguin-rights violating states. "If they want to torture their citizens, they can leave the WU. I'm sure they have nothing to lose" sarcastically said Ludovica Carvilia, the president of the Western Union Commission, referring to Acadia's government.
As the Western Union reaction was different from what both the Acadian government and Acadian public expected, this sparked angered reactions in the Acadian government, with a Conservative Member of Parliament saying "these recent reactions show that the Western Union will not stop until it achieves complete anarchy in Acadia". President Brant Esser also gave a speech where he affirmed that his government was working towards a democratization process, and finished by addressing the Western Union itself, asking "what more do you want from us?". Later that day, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Joshua Adkins, boarded a plane to Snowzerland, although the reason for his departure was kept secret.
A few days later, on December 6, the Acadian Parliament reversed the orange juice restriction in Acadia, which was promptly signed into law by Brant Esser. After signing the law, Esser delivered a speech to the Acadian people saying that restricting orange juice was against the ideals of capitalism, and that if the Acadian people didn't like orange juice, it would be shown through statistics. Later that day, the Acadian Minister of the Economy, Jacques Sauveterre, boarded a plane bound for South Pole City, in a bid to reopen trade with the United States of Antarctica again and replace the trade that had been lost with certain Ninja Archipelago countries. Upon his arrival in South Pole City, he met with the Treasurer, Donal Tenorio, who agreed to a trade deal between the United States of Antarctica and Acadia.
On January 21, 2019, the Western Union Commission had assessed that Acadia "made significant progress in democratic reform", calling the increasing of basic freedoms, recent efforts at diplomacy and the removal of the ban on orange juice as "clear signs of improvement". The Western Union Commission said that Acadia's next steps should be strengthening the Constitution and bettering its implementation with the hopes that freedoms now added to it would never be challenged again. Liberal MPs of the Western Union Parliament said Brant Esser should resign and said that the democratization process would not be over "as long as Brant Esser or any similar populist with a long history of challenging the democratic rule of law" is in power. Commission president Ludovica Carvilia declined to comment on these calls by the Liberal MPs.
Reactions to Lavender's Assassination Attempt in Acadia
After Lavender's attempted assassination by a former Acadian citizen, Lavender irrationally ordered a multitude of nations to freeze Acadian assets despite Acadia having nothing to do with the assassination attempt. This sparked further furious reactions in the Acadian government and Acadian public, with protests being held in Delphi where Shopper flags and effigies of Lavender were burned. The protesters held signs such as "LAVENDER EST UN BOUCHER", meaning "Lavender is a butcher" referring to the many wars he got involved in, along with the fact that he was given a boost on the intestine donor list after his assassination, and "MORT À L'ÎLE DE SHOPS", meaning "death to Shops Island". After Acadian officials learned that Shops Island threatened military action against Acadia, military bases across the country were put on high alert, while overseas Acadian military bases began to make preparations in case of a Shopper attack.
Meanwhile, Hockey Manlet went on a Chitter rant calling Brant a dangerous leader and even accusing him of plotting Lavender's assassination, saying that he did it because he was salty about the ongoing Achadia Crisis.
Relations with the Western Union
The Western Union was the main entity in Antarctica pushing for a democratization of Acadia and Commission president Ludovica Carvilia said how "the Western Union has the opportunity to shape Acadian politics from the ground up". Under the Western Union's supervision, Acadia gradually started democratizing over a period of times, starting with a penguin rights amendment to the Acadian constitution in December 2018 that was supported by the Western Union. The Acadian government, in a series of negotiations throughout December, agreed to gradually reform in a democratic direction over a period of months, and this promise has been followed by a slight reduction in government propaganda on the national television.
In December 2018, some Western Union politicians brought up the possibility of Acadia getting circum, not long after Dragonstone had been brought up as a potential circumzone member as well. Dragonstonian government officials are currently negotiating with the Western Union regarding adoption of the circum, while Acadia has only been brought up as a potential circumzone member. Acadia already has adopted the circum, but not as a sole legal tender - the franc is still in use as the main currency. On New Year's Eve, Carvilia said that "Acadian government officials have shown interest in considering adopting the circum as their country's only official currency". Some Western Union officials have said that the negotiations to have Acadia adopt circum as their currency could also serve to further democratize Acadia and get it to abide by international penguin rights laws.
Brant Esser's Departure
On June 8, 2019, Brant Esser announced he would not stand for reelection in his country's December 2019 presidential and parliamentary elections. He said that he fought virulently for Acadia and never lost faith in his country and his penguins, and he declared that he's proud of the progress the country's made under his leadership, but also that it is time for a new generation of leadership to appear in Acadia and to further the will of the people. Esser's statement was short and brief, and concluded with him thanking his supporters and wishing Acadia well. Brant Esser's announcement was met with leftist celebrations in the capital city, with many proclaiming "freedom is here, at last!" and "the dictator's gone", while many have reacted with sadness, some even crying that Brant Esser will be leaving.
The international community's reaction was mixed, with Candvia, the United Provinces, Emperorlands, Dragonstone and Snowzerland declared they are "saddened to see Esser go" and "wish him and his family the best of luck in their future endeavors", and governments such as that of the United States of Antarctica and Freezeland wished Brant Esser and his family well and said that they would cooperate with whoever the next leader of Acadia is. The Western Union said wrote in a statement that Esser has made his mark as an important figure in Antarctica and will go down in history, with his name being uttered both for positive and negative reasons.
UP president Simon McClark declared that his "special relationship" with Brant Esser had its ups and downs, and that he is proud to have made a positive influence on Brant Esser, in particular after the Achadia Crisis, hoping he's made him "see the light on key issues". He declared his pride in the relationship he's had with Esser and declared that "despite our differences, I will miss working with him". He finished by wishing "his dear friend, Brant" the best of luck in life and invited him to come to Winsburg as his last foreign visit.
Reactions from the Political Community
As the driving force behind Hockey Manlet's release from his false imprisonment, Ed Island was the most vocal about Acadia's numerous penguin rights violations. In a joint letter addressed to the Western Union and UAN, political heads and officials from Ed Island, Magyaria, Glaw, and the Osterrean government-in-exile reaffirmed their closure of Acadian embassies in 2013, and stated that action must be taken against Acadia. In particular, the Western Union was called on to remove Acadia from the organization, as well as calls for Brant Esser to step down as president.
The Western Union has condemned Acadian penguin rights violations while at the same time calling the idea of expelling Acadia "ridiculous". "We cannot expel every member state whose government does not behave like we would want them to behave - besides, isn't it a better idea to USE the Western Union to PRESSURE Acadia to reform, thereby helping the peaceful citizens of Acadia who long for freedom and are against their regime?" asked UP president Simon McClark. Internally, the Western Union has discussed potentially suspending Acadia's voting rights - something McClark said that there "most likely would be enough votes to pass".
The United Provinces government, led by Prime Minister Clara Kennedy, a Liberal in coalition with Conservatives, was almost unanimously against Acadia's penguin rights violations. Liberal ministers were especially supportive of the WU suspending Acadia should it resist democratization, and the Conservatives did not stand up to Liberal threats at all and insisted Acadia has indeed violated many international penguin rights laws. Foreign Minister Patrick Smith offered no personal view of the crisis, instead saying that "the United Provinces are working with all sides to ensure the crisis doesn't evolve into something deadly or much more serious". President McClark said that Acadia's current situation was 'unbearable', but stopped short of talking about suspending them.
Despite being silent about the issue in the beginning, the Margatian government spoke out against the Acadians when the crisis escalated. “While we respect the right of every country to have full control over their internal affairs and the right of every country to take necessary measures in order to deter those who attempt to destabilise the country, we also believe that it is improper for a country’s government to suppress political dissidence, especially if it is voiced out by a foreigner. We are against arbitrary arrests that are doled out solely to satisfy one’s personal vendetta,” President Frederick Mueller quipped in reference of Margate’s history of detaining penguins for sedition. “A penguin who did not violate a country’s laws should not be subject to any arbitrary punishment. My issue with this is that the arrest is in no way sanctioned by the country’s laws since the individual in concern did not officially break the laws,” Mueller added on. The President also said that suspending Acadia’s WU membership is one of the only possible ways for the WU to solve the debacle, unless the Acadians prove that they can change.
President Christina van Guilera of the Seal Islands later stated that the Achadia Crisis played a big part in them choosing to join the Axle Powers instead of the Western Union. This sparked furious reactions from many officials and politicians in the Acadian government, with the former Acadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dominic Smith calling Christina Van Guilera "a pathological liar wishing to destroy this republic", pointing out that "the Seal Islands made it clear that they had no interest to join the Western Union long before the start of this crisis". However, there was no official response in the Acadian government to the remark by the Sealien President.
Candvian Ambassador to Acadia Julius Sessaena cheeped twice, on December 14, 2018, that the international community is ganging up on defenseless little Acadia despite their own penguin rights violations: "Hypocritical and power-hungry international community is ganging up on ACADIA despite their own penguin rights violations. Candvia must stand with Acadia. We must not back down!" and in his second cheep called for a penguins to turn out in protest in Ventides on December 16, 2018: "Join me on 16 December. Let's march in Ventides. And let's shout: Justice for the oppressed Yowiens, justice for the oppressed Puffalians!" His cheeps received sharp rebuke in a country that stayed almost completely out of the Achadia Crisis. Prime Minister Creslana, on December 16, the day of the protests, told the press that "the Candvian government has a very clear stance regarding the Achadian Crisis: all parties must come to a dialogue together" and refused to answer a question asking if she would fire the ambassador.
On May 3, 2019, President McClark declared that the democratization of Acadia has completed, saying that the Western Union "is now satisfied with the level of penguin rights in Acadia". He has then made the declaration that Acadia "is now so democratic that it beats Shops in how democratic it is", and defended his statement by saying that the Acadian Parliament, with or without Esser's support at times, has repealed dozens of laws from previous years restricting people's liberties and passed new ones to protect them. McClark declared that under Brant Esser, in 2019, Acadia became more democratic than ever before in its history and that it is putting other less democratic nations to shame.
- This was the single worst crisis facing the Western Union since the Marxit Crisis, which, just like this crisis, revolved around Acadia as well.
- Serious calls by Members of the Western Union Parliament to move the capital of the Western Union outside Acadia had been made during and after this crisis. Penguins supporting that cite Acadia's instability and the constant negative attention surrounding it.