L'état, c'est moi.
The sweltering midday sun beat down heavily on New York State, yet thousands of its citizens poured into the streets. They were angry, it was clear, and wasted no time in taking every possible opportunity to share their rage with the world. Brightly-colored, hand-made posters poked out sporadically in the heated mass, and chanting, filled with great passion, exploded as cameras from excited bystanders and renowned news networks documented them. Dams of national guards and local law enforcement units, though largely outnumbered, managed to hold the adamant flood at various roadblocks.
"'Separation of Church and State,' as you saw in that footage taken by an English tourist, is the adopted slogan of the fast-growing movement for, well, the separation of Church and State in the United States," announced a female news anchor for the BBC as the monitor behind her paused after showing a minute of shaky footage of a line of people holding a lengthy sign with said slogan. "This New York riot, like many others springing up in the States, is the response of concerned American citizens to the bill proposed by US Senator William Rane, titled S 1, which would reserve seats in the Senate and House of Representatives for 'those holier than we the commons'. Calling the bill "a most horrid step closer to the acceptance of stupidity and bigotry," Eli Johns, a contributing author of Times Magazine, the digest, as well as the movement, has gained quite a bit of hateful attention from their religious onlookers. This is the BBC. We will provide further insight as the story develops."
As the rest of the globe watched, read, watched again, reread, and refreshed the web pages, they would never come close to experiencing the live tension, the feeling that all hell could break loose at any moment.
The New Yorkers screamed at and berated the riot police as the two sides stood mere feet away from one another at numerous locations. The organized law enforcement units quietly ignored the insults behind their transparent, body-length riot shields; clad in black, full-body Kevlar armor; riot helmets, of matching color, with face shields; and armed with a wide array of non-lethal weapons. The mobs were protected by their common clothing, and armed with their words, signs, and, for some, rods of any sort. Square-mile, "no-one-in" perimeters were set up around many of the expected rendezvous locations, including the New York State Court of Appeals, Tweed Courthouse, and the United Nations headquarters. They tried to allow for as much everyday activity to occur within the designated zones, but inadvertently failed as more and more civilians mobilized, thus requiring more roads to be closed off.
At the protection radius for the now built Freedom Tower, contingents of two- or three-rowed riot police, backed up by armored vehicles appropriated with water cannons, stood firm. They had been there for a few hours, and only changed shifts once, but did so carefully, not wanting to be stormed when rearranging positions. Christopher Allen, light-skinned, brown-haired and -eyed, and standing at 5'11" with a fairly muscular frame, switched places with someone nearly an hour ago, and was now at the very front of the line with, as far as he could tell without diverting attention from the crowd in front of him, about six or seven others. The area he was stationed at, a four-way intersection where all the stores on it had to be temporarily closed, echoed with roars and chanting. Unrelenting, they had been calling him, or rather the group, a traitor to the people in more ways he thought possible since they arrived. Christopher mentally scoffed at their scorns. A traitor, he thought, for protecting innocents from being ravaged by a bloodthirsty mob.
But he was on their side, whether they cared to know or not. He was just as angry as they were being when he heard the news from a coworker, then confirmed with a glance at the front page of a New York Times paper. Still, he had a job to do, and justified it by his own logic.
Suddenly, a cluster of blue paper planes launched from the crowd, and glided towards the police. They, like normal human beings, trailed it with their eyes. Christopher smiled. This was what he enjoyed hearing about on the news: when people protest through peaceful, meaningful ways. And it was simply calming to see it in person.
Just as abruptly as the planes came, a hail of solid chunks came crashing down. "Shields!" someone yelled. Almost instantly, the shields were raised above their heads, but it wasn't quick enough. The chunks turned out to be pieces of cement, bricks, and some other common materials. They came down hard, slamming into the heads of some of the distracted officers, incapacitating them. A few were quickly pulled back, and their spots hastily filled by reserves. The rioters became silent for a moment, just as stunned as Christopher. But that ended with another order. "Use the cannon! Use the cannon! They're attacking!" The command came as a shock to the civilians, and those in the front tried to run back, but the ones in back couldn't see or hear what happened, and remained in place. Christopher flinched as a spray of water suddenly drizzled down on his bare face. A blast of hard-hitting water smothered the front lines, bringing some to their knees, bawling and writhing. The danger was now known to all of the mob, and they exploded in anger and fear. The crowded street became a mish-mash of those trying to escape, and those trying to retaliate. This was a perfect time for the anarchists in the riot to cause more trouble, and they knew that. Like nobody's business, glass bottles were thrown into the air, their openings ablaze. Christopher stared in horror as a couple more followed. Two met their marks, and landed on the filed policemen, but one- one fell on the frantic crowd.
"Spray the civilians! They're on fucking fire! Holy shit! Spray there! There!" the officer beside him shouted. That was exactly what Christopher was thinking, but he couldn't bring himself to say it. The water cannon operators saw this, and immediately turned their hose. However, the Molotovs that had erupted in their ranks panicked their own, even though their armor was mostly inflammable. They, in turn, hollered and shoved their comrades to escape. The angry civilians had now reached them as well, and this caused more havoc. Everything was in disarray now. Christopher and the others in the front pushed forward with their shields, some swinging their batons. As they spread further out, however, opportune gaps appeared. The rank behind them threw canisters of tear gas, then fired blank rounds into the air. The civilians were undeterred, probably because they couldn't hear the shooting or feel the effects of the gas, and grabbed wildly at the cops. Christopher kicked and swung his shield as hands tugged on him, his baton, and his shield. "H-Help! They've got m- fuck!" he screamed to no one in particular. He lunged forward as his shield was ripped from his hold, then fell to the ground, vulnerable.
Last edited by TheFrontLine; 03-07-2013 at 08:50 PM.