One of the things that I suspect messes up my intuition of how Flat Black colonies view the universe is I tend to assume that if the Empire wasn’t there it would be necessary to invent it. CT weapons are too dangerous in the long term to trust to anything less inhumanly focused on not ever using them than the Mink. (Adventure seed - mirror-universe style technology/phenomena sends an imperial scout ship into a universe where the Empire lost, and every DL 5+ world, and every world close to a DL 5+ world, has been sterilized, with the remainder of the colonies occupied by the piratical remnants of a MAD-style interplanetary war. )
But I don’t think that’s how the colonies view things. I’d bet they mostly think they were conquered in a war with folks who destroyed their ability to defend themselves with equivalent weaponry and blockaded them until they gave in to a humiliating peace treaty where they surrendered sovereignty in exchange for a seat on a weak legislative body that is not sovereign either. You can’t opt out, they bleed you for money with an unbreakable monopoly on a critical economic sector, and hover above you with menacing warships that could destroy you and everyone you love at the press of a button.
Sure, something needed to be done about CT weapons but this “brutal” conquest is a clear affront. Something similar to the way the UK press and Gov’t tends to blame the EU for everything magnified 100% is probably common as heck on many colonies. I’m surprised that things are mostly kept down to low level grumblings of discontent and petty sabotage.