- It is possible, though not proven, that the term "Cardassian Liberation Front" refers to those groups under the direct leadership of Corat Damar, whereas "Cardassian Rebellion" also encompasses the action of other groups that did not answer to Damar, such as the multi-species Thirteenth Order (Star Trek: Sigils and Unions), and those who participated in the popular uprising following the destruction of Lakarian City.
While the revolt's direct military impact was not great, the Dominion was forced to divert resources away from a major assault upon the Allies, and the revolt of the Cardassian people--to include elements of the Cardassian Guard ultimately turned the course of the Battle of Cardassia.
The Cardassian Rebellion originated from multiple sources simultaneously, though by far the most influential of these was the increasingly disillusioned Legate Corat Damar, who had become the figurehead leader of the Cardassian Union after the mental breakdown of Gul Dukat. As more and more of the Dominion's promises of glory for the Cardassian people turned out to be false, Damar grew more and more disgusted with the alliance and after the Septimus Massacre, where the Dominion sacrificed half a million Cardassians in an apparently arbitrary maneuver, he decided he had had enough and with Gul Rusot, called for a strike on the Vorta cloning facilities on Rondac III. (DS9: "The Changing Face of Evil")
Prior to this, however, a cabal of four guls--Macet, Berat, Rebek, and Speros--had also become disgusted with the Dominion "alliance." They began taking covert measures of their own: preparing a hidden base on the planet of Lessek, eliminating the Vorta and Jem'Hadar contingents aboard their ships, and, when they found they could not transfer personnel across the Cardassian fleet without Dominion detection, they began taking Starfleet prisoners without the permission of Central Command. Treating these prisoners humanely, they hoped soon to have the chance to convince them to join their resistance against the Dominion. Just after the Raid on San Francisco, and the Battle of Rondac III, they made their proposal--and gained the agreement of the ranking Starfleet officer, Mike Spirodopoulos. The combined force took for itself the name "Thirteenth Order," and from that point forward operated with complete independence from Damar's campaigns. (Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order)
Success, failure, and rebirthEdit
Damar's initial strike against Rondac III, in which Gul Macet participated, was a success, but was far from painless to those who participated in it. Nearly half of those who took up arms against the Dominion were killed in this assault. For example, Macet's ship, the Trager, suffered serious damage that killed almost a fifth of the crew, and during the battle, another pilot went kamikaze to destroy a Breen ship. (Demons of Air and Darkness; The Thirteenth Order)
The Breen commander, Thot Gor, was ordered to root out the resistance and kill Damar, no matter how many Cardassians had to die to accomplish this aim. (DS9: "The Changing Face of Evil") A Dominion counterattack against the Rebellion forces drove them off of Rondac III, and those who survived were forced to go into hiding.
At that point, Starfleet sent Kira Nerys, who they "deputized" into a temporary commander, Odo, and Elim Garak to aid the Rebellion (not knowing that they already had almost a hundred of their people fighting alongside the Cardassians!). The Rebellion decentralized on Kira's advice, and split into eighteen bases operating in a semi-autonomous fashion--though not the completely "off-the-grid" fashion of the Thirteenth Order. This would eventually prove their undoing, for when Damar sought the help of one Gul Revok, he was betrayed and nearly the entire movement under his leadership wiped out. (DS9: "When it Rains...", "The Dogs of War")
Cardassian opposition to Dominion rule was nearly destroyed that day--aside from a few unaffiliated contingents, there was no military resistance to speak of. Having retreated into the basement of the late Enabran Tain, Damar and the few living rebels nearly gave up...until they observed the effects of the rumors of Damar's survival upon the Cardassian people. This led them to blow up a Jem'Hadar barracks in the capital city--and from there, Damar called for a popular uprising. (DS9: "The Dogs of War")
The Cardassian people then disrupted the power and communications grids, timing it to occur during the Allied assault on Cardassia Prime. Furious, the Founder ordered the wholesale destruction of Lakarian City and threatened the same for any further acts of sabotage, an act she expected to break the Cardassian will. Instead, this only fanned the flames of resistance, eventually causing almost the entire Cardassian Guard to switch sides in the middle of the orbital battle.
The Founder then ordered the total genocide of the Cardassian people.
Thankfully for Cardassia, Damar was leading an assault force that infiltrated the halls of Central Command. Damar was killed in the battle, but Odo was able to compel the Founder to surrender...but the cost to the Cardassian people had been terrible indeed. (DS9: "What You Leave Behind")