The demonstration was smaller than earlier demonstrations. Later estimates placed it at 450-to-500 people.
Unlike earlier demonstrations, the speakers didn’t compete with each other in the sense of multiple speeches going on at the same time.
The content was the same as always: Stultifying repetition of ludicrous, improbable crimes against peoples-of-color and non-cis-gendered individuals. Lunatic demands for reparations. Claims of crimes against future generations.
Some of the speakers were good. They got the crowd pumped up and yelling.
The energy may have been fueled by the bottles being passed around. More likely it was due to the fact that the free hot chocolate and lemonade was laced with esctacy.
Weed had been prohibited. The organizers of the demonstration didn’t want anybody to be mellow. The prohibition was widely ignored. Anarchists!
Two hours after full-dark, the crowd started separating. It was like watching bacteria reproduce in slow-motion.
An older, fat man watched from the fourth-floor window of the Hall-of-Justice. The window was on the east side of the building and overlooked the parking lot. If you looked closely, you would have recognized him as one of the municipal workers who had been working in the parking lot.
He played with the spare batteries in his pocket as he watch the smaller part of the crowd move back to the parking lot.
A few of the demonstrators got into their vehicles and moved them. They very carefully parked them so one tire was on the grate of the manhole covers.
The Marxists weren’t stupid. They figured out that somebody had gotten beneath the buses at the High School and crimped the fuel lines. They weren’t going to let THAT happen again.
The fat man watched a crew of four move over to the Super Sewer Sucker. They pulled out firearms and one of them hopped down into the manhole.
The fat man snorted. They had done nothing to ventilate the hole, although the breeze was brisk enough that the spelunker would probably not be overcome by lack of oxygen.
The other three-hundred demonstrators were getting organized on the west side of the building.
The trucks quietly pulled out of their parking places.
The helicopter started running a sewing-machine pattern stitching from the Hall-of-Justice to the neighborhood and back. The observer in the chopper reported back on which roads and approaches were clearest.
A truck pulling a rental trailer parked on Lahoma just south of Ottawa street. A large, utility-type van passed the truck and parked a hundred feet ahead of it. The van had several antennas attached to the roof with a magnetic bases. Otherwise, it was like ten-thousand other, dark-blue, delivery vans in Michigan.
Meanwhile, Colton and Gregious had a falling-out in the eleventh hour. Gregious stalked off with five of his followers. They went to the parking lot and claimed two vehicles and drove off.
It was not the only argument that raged among the demonstrators.
Everybody knew what was going down. They had all been briefed. The least patient in the mob just wanted to get down to the business of looting and burning.
It was a close thing but there were enough enforcers among the Marxists to keep the mob on-script.
Mitch-bitch had specified junkyard-dogs for demonstrators and the recruiters had delivered in spades. The anger and testosterone of the demonstrators teetered on the raggedy edge of chaos in the best of times.
The three-hundred started inch-worming westward on Ottawa in fits-and-starts. The crowd seethed. Fisticuffs broke out in places.
Colton and the fighters didn’t mingle with others in the crowd. They were two-thirds the way back in the inch-worm. Many of the fighters were chafing at the weight of the armor plates in the ill-fitting body-armor. They couldn’t wait for the lights to drop. They planned on losing the plates as soon as that happened.
The crowd started chanting.
“Whadda we gonna do?” the caller cried through a powered megaphone.
“Burn it down” responded the crowd.
“Whadda we gonna burn?” the caller cried.
“Da whole damned thing” the crowd responded.
“Whadda we need?”
“How we gonna get it?”
“We gonna TAKE it”
Smartphones were recording video all along their route. The smartphones were uploading to Gary's wireless network and feeding to the multiple screens he had in front of him.
The mainstream media was playing video from the previous night.
A few people were watching the channels Gary was “curating” from the real time video. The energy and anger was palpable...even volcanic. Gary switched views in time with the caller's cadence and succeeded in making the crowd look much larger than it was.
That was part of the PSYOP plan: Make the aggressors look bigger than life and then have the smaller forces of the neighborhood boot-stomp them. The classic David-and-Goliath story.
Gary’s viewers sent links to some of their friends. “You have to watch this...”
One of those friends was a bartender at a sports bar in suburban Maryland. He changed one of the 47 TV's to Gary's live-feed so he could watch events unfold as he poured drinks. He had the sound turned off because it was supposed to be a sports bar.
Then one of the patrons asked him to turn up the sound.