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I'm going to fight. I'm going to fight. Now, this is easier for me because I'm used to it. The rest of you are gonna have a tougher choice. Look, I don't want to sell it to you; it's too ugly for that. It's ugly, and it's hard. But when you're fighting in your own backyard, and you're fighting for your family, it all hurts a little less and it makes a little more sense. And for them, this is just some place, but for us? This is our home.
—Jed Eckert, Red Dawn (2012)
Sometimes, when writers feel the need to avert Terrorists Without a Cause, they use this stock motivation, where the members of a guerrilla/insurgent/terrorist/freedom fighter/resistance/etc. movement and/or organisation justify their actions by claiming they desire for foreign occupiers to leave their nation. This is both Truth in Television and Older Than Feudalism, dating at least back to the 1st century BCE with the Sicarii zealots in Roman-occupied Israel.
A rather peculiar case of this trope occurs with some Animal Wrongs Groups, who claim humans are occupying the Earth.
- Star Wars provides numerous examples:
- In Legends, the Kaleesh, General Grievous' people, joined the CIS largely because their own planet had been economically ruined by the Republic for retaliating (with massacres) against the rival Huks, who had invaded their planet and enslaved the Kaleesh
- A series of insurgent operations on Manaan by the native Selkath managed to drive The Empire offworld (though, much like the Rebel Alliance, they received help from Darth Vader.)
- The Guiding Hand in Feng Shui is based upon the kind of Well Intentioned Extremists and out-and-out Knight Templar-ish people that made up the Boxers at the turn of the century, and if you want to see just how nasty these guys can get, well, look no further than Once Upon A Time In China 2 which pits Wong Fei Hong played by Jet Li against the fanatical and Nazi-like White Lotus sect, and which shows us the other side of the coin by raising issue with rabid anti-western bigotry instead of foreign imperialism and greed with the first movie.
- The V franchise (no, not that V). A human resistance group tries to expel the aliens who have taken control of Earth.
Anime and Manga
- The Black Knights and other groups fighting the Britannian occupation of Japan in Code Geass. However, the leader of the Black Knights has a more complicated motivation.
- Check out the page image on Hedwig and The Angry Inch, which subverts this for humor: "Yankee Go Home... With Me"
- The Scottish rebels in Braveheart.
- Billy Wilder's One, Two, Three with the "Yankee / Russkie go home" balloons.
- Subverted in Life of Brian, where the aforementioned zealots are too busy squabbling amongst themselves (when the Romans aren't correcting their grammar) to do much. Particularly the Popular Front of Judea.
- Although the People's Front of Judea are a bit uncertain about which Romans they want to go home (they rather like the ones who maintain trade, infrastructure and utilities).
- The Wind That Shakes the Barley is all about this, during the War of Independence in Ireland. It doesn't paint anybody solid white, but the guys that deviate from solid Resistance action are definitely not regarded well compared to the stalwarts, and never mind England. Historical figures, incidentally.
- Lampshaded in Red Dawn, when the Wolverines are going to shoot their prisoners.
Matt: "What's the difference, Jed? Tell me, what's the difference between us and them?"
- Most propagandistic war films from China, Russia, any number of Eastern Bloc countries feature this trope in spades, dealing either with the Japanese or Nazi invasions.
- To elaborate, there are Multiple Dozens of such films produced by USSR/Russia alone, and they are produced even now.
- Alexander Nevsky features Teutonic Order as invaders.
- City of Craftspeople features some tranforms the setting into Middle-Age Europe, with invaders looking just like the aforementioned Teutonic Order.
- Brutally inverted in "9th Company", which plays in Afghanistan - and the Soviet troops are the occupiers.
- The White Lotus sect mentioned above from Once Upon a Time in China 2 are singularly nasty Knight Templar types who want all foreign influence, however beneficial, out of China. These guys are introduced by burning a dog because it was a foreign breed, attack and burn down a foreign language school, forcing Wong to take the displaced students of the school to the British consulate, and at one point, they even burn a cross in front of the consulate in a scene that may remind American viewers of another sect known for its bigotry and intolerance (though with far different goals than the White Lotus).
- Colonel Kurtz describes this in Apocalypse Now. In his haunting speech to Captain Willard, he claims that the reason why America is eventually going to lose the war is because to us the war isn't a matter of life and death—the Americans viewed Vietnam as a matter of containing Communism in the larger Cold War, while the Vietnamese wanted the Americans out of their country so much that they were willing to do whatever it took to win. Kurtz commends them, saying that if he had even so much as 10 divisions (about 100,000-200,000 troops) of men like that willing to do whatever was necessary to win, then the Vietnam War could be won with alarming speed.
- Robert Heinlein novel Sixth Column. After the U.S. is invaded by the PanAsians, a group of U.S. soldiers forms an underground army (under the guise of a religion) to drive them out.
- Also Heinlein's short story "Free Men," which appears in several different anthologies, including Expanded Universe and The Worlds of Robert A. Heinlein. In this story, the invaders' identity is never specified.
- Jerry Pournelle's story Sword and Sceptre. A rebel group on the planet New Washington hires Falkenberg's mercenaries to help remove the invading troops from their sister planet Franklin.
- Komarran terrorists in the Vorkosigan Saga.
- The Barrayarans themselves, including Miles' grandfather, fit this trope themselves a few generations before the books in question.
- The Riftwar Cycle has this as the given reason the moredhel (dark elves) hate humans. Which makes sense, really, given that said occupation has driven the moredhel to live in the barren Northlands where they have to slaughter each other over scraps of food.
- The motivation of much of the Syrian rebels in The Egyptian. Although Sinuhe doubts the sincerity of their motives.
- The Tomorrow Series from Australia.
- Used frequently in the works of Harry Turtledove, for example, the Canadians resisting American occupation in Timeline191, or the English resisting the Spanish in Ruled Britannia.
- Two of the earliest BattleTech novels, Decision at Thunder Rift and Mercenaries Star, involve a small force successfully doing this.
- The human resistance against the Psychlos in Battlefield Earth.
Live Action TV
- The Maquis of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, who were made up of colonists who refused to move off colony worlds that were ceded to the Cardassians in the truce that ended the war between the two nations.
- The Bajoran Resistance fighting the Cardassian occupation of Bajor in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Deep Space Nine also had a Cardassian resistance against the Dominion in later seasons.
- Lampshaded when a disfigured victim of one of Kira's bombs confronts her with the fact that he was just a civilian who did the laundry. Kira's reply amounts to "you're Cardassian, you were all here uninvited so you were all guilty."
Kira: "None of you belonged on Bajor. It wasn't your world. For fifty years you raped our planet, and you killed our people. You lived on our land and you took the food out of our mouths, and I don't care whether you held a phaser in your hand or you ironed shirts for a living. You were all guilty and you were all legitimate targets!"
- Note that the "victim" Had just killed nearly all of Kira's friends from her old resistance cell.
- The Narn Resistance against the Centauri occupation of Narn in Babylon 5.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The High Ground". The Ansata terrorists are trying to force the Rutian occupation forces to leave their country.
- Happens, not once, but three times in Ronald Moore's new Battlestar Galactica series:
- Tom Zarek's movement to repudiate the Colonial federal government from his homeworld of Sagittaron, which led to Zarek destroying a government building to achieve his ends and being imprisoned for it.
- A resistance movement arises on Caprica in order to attempt to expel the Cylon occupiers, which Helo, Boomer and Starbuck all make contact with at some point. They get rescued in the season two finale. The Cylons decide to leave the 12 Colonies.
- The anti-Cylon resistance movement on New Caprica, who justify their attacks (particularily their Suicide Attacks) on several grounds, among which are expelling the Cylons from their planet.
- Many, many Doctor Who stories, starting with "The Dalek Invasion of Earth". Notably interesting variations are in "The Mutants", "The Power Of Kroll" and "Planet of the Ood" in which humans are the occupying force.
- The eponymous Freedom Fighters, who are made up of United States citizens organizing armed resistance against their Soviet occupiers in New York City. Like the Selkath, they had some aid, from Colonel Bulba, disguised as a man named Mr Jones.
- In the Europa Universalis expansion InNomine you'll get two kinds of these types of rebels: "Patriots" seek to have areas of a certain culture defect to another state with that culture. (eg. french patriots in provinces owned by the Netherlands will try to defect to France) Nationalists support a particular nation-state, and either want to defect to that state if it exists, or recreate it if it doesn't.
- From the second installment onward, the Half Life series focuses on liberating Earth from the Combine.
- The first-person shooter Project Reality features Iraqi Insurgents as a playable faction, pitting them against the occupation forces of the US Army, US Marines, and British Army.
- A fairly prominent part of the in-universe history in Dragon Age, where Big Bad Loghain's personal xenophobia and Paranoia Fuel largely stems from his time as a La Résistance fighter struggling to throw the Orlesians out of Ferelden.
- Although he's shown to be right in at least one occasion that Orlais will try to conquer Ferelden again.
- The story of Valkyria Chronicles follows the exploits of a militia squad - well, Welkin says it best.
Welkin: Let's drive these Imperials back out of Gallia! Squad 7, move out!
- The first part of Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn focuses on the Dawn Brigade's efforts to force Begnion's oppressive occupation army out of Daein.
- The civilians caught in the crossfire between Soviet and NATO troops in Operation Flashpoint. The Resistance expansion pack is all about this trope and deals with it a suprisingly nuanced matter.
- Kicking The Empire out of Morrowind is part of Dagoth Ur's plan and he's been staging a series of assassinations to disrupt their activities since awakening.
- In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob, this is how many dragons feel about the Nemesite Empire. Voluptua wants to avoid a similar situation occurring between her people and Earth.