It was founded and led by Stephen Westman, and vigorously opposed the proposal of annexation by Manticore during the Montana plebiscite on the question. Though they lost the vote, their position was so strongly held that the core group decided to take direct action against implementing the annexation, believing that otherwise Montana's independent spirit and nature would be lost. The movement began a series of actions designed to discredit the annexation and win a reconsideration of the vote authorizing Montana to proceed.
Westman did his best to avoid human casualties in his attacks, sending warnings so that his targets could be evacuated before he destroyed them. He also chose targets designed to make the government, the annexation proposal, and Manticorans and Manticoran property look ridiculous. He knew that the considerable care to avoid injury or death would have to be changed sooner or later, but before that could happen, Captain Aivars Terekhov of the Royal Manticoran Navy and Bernardus Van Dort of the Rembrandt Trade Union provided him with evidence that his contact "Firebrand" (Damien Harahap) was actually an agent of the Solarian League's Office of Frontier Security and that his entire program had been subverted without his knowledge.
The Independence Movement then agreed to lay down their weapons and accept a general amnesty from the President. (SI1)