On Earth during the decade of the 2020s, there is a sense that Europe is falling apart as disruptive student protests persist in France. Neo-Trotskyists replace the Gaullists but are unable to stop the protests. Meanwhile, Ireland is unified after over a century of violence.
By that decade, the American government have created special Sanctuary Districts in most major cities to cope with poverty and unemployment. These sites operated as inhumane internment camps. The Bell Riots of the mid-decade are one of the most violent civil disturbances in all of American history, with the government's response resulting in the deaths of hundreds of Sanctuary District residents. Gabriel Bell's pivotal role in those riots turns public opinion against Sanctuary Districts and led to their closure.
- By the early 2020s, there had been a Sanctuary District established in every major American city. (DS9: "Past Tense, Part I")