The Sporadic Beaver

The Fire Next Time

August 16, 2011

Tags: Republican Convention, riots, New York, London

All this writing about rioting has gotten me to thinking about what it might be like in New York City should a bit of social unrest erupt here. Well, it's not terribly hard to imagine. We got a preview of what would happen in 2004, when the Republican Party invaded New York to re-nominate Bush on the ashes of the World Trade Center. So, I figure it'll be pretty much the same, with more fire and more carnage.

The entire city was in lockdown. Concrete barricades manned by heavily armed riot police and military—it was hard to tell them apart—sprung up overnight, on virtually every street corner in Midtown Manhattan. Chinook helicopters thumped overhead. At the first hint of trouble, the police carried out mass arrests, swooping in with plastic netting, and rounding up anybody who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Stores and restaurants closed. Streets were deserted. Anybody who could leave town did. It wasn’t fun. It wasn’t good for business (as our mayor had advertised). It wasn’t anything but ugly.

Which is why most sensible New Yorkers breathed a sigh of relief when London was chosen for the 2012 Olympics. The convention lasted only four days. The Olympics will go on for 17 days. Word to the wise: Get the fuck out of London if you can. Go to Spain. Or, better yet, tell them to go away. You’re London. You don’t need the Olympics.