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Taking Back Order [May. 17th, 2007|11:56 am]
Bike Boy
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[Current Location |Home]
[Current Mood |devastated]
[Current Music |The Prince's Bed - Adam Green]

Hi everyone, this is Lauren. C told me to post in his absence, because he figured you'd all want to know what is going on right now. I've got to say I think his whole blogging thing is kind of silly in the face of this crisis, but I never got to read any of your blogs. They give me a lot of hope.

Right now, the National Guard and the Ann Arbor Police have taken back the streets for the most part. Rioters have been pushed to "the Hill," where all the big dormitories are, and word is that they're hiding out there, continuing to engage in shootouts with soldiers and police. This is good, as far as we're concerned. However, the reason I'm posting and not C is really ridiculous...welcome to martial law.

Around 2 AM this morning we got a knock on our compound gate. The watchman came and opened up - it was two National Guardsmen and a police inspector. What do you want from us? asked the watchman. We need to talk to whoever possesses a firearm in your community.

That, of course, would be C. He got his gun from an intruder who we took it from, and has been learning to use it ever since. Even going to the firing range with his cop friends. So the watchman comes and wakes us up - C pulls on his pants and grabs the gun, and goes downstairs to the courtyard.

It turns out the rioter C shot point-blank was the son of a state legislator. It turns out the state legislator doesn't want to blame the police, and it also turns out the gun that C took from the intruder last month was a weapon that was taken off a slain cop. The National Guardsmen and the police inspector took both the gun and my boyfriend into custody. Right now, we're praying. Since we're living under martial law, who knows what will happen to him? Stay tuned - I promise to update as soon as I know more.
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The Straw That Broke the Camel's Back [May. 11th, 2007|11:39 am]
Bike Boy
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[Current Location |Home]
[Current Mood |dead]
[Current Music |Turnstile Blues - Autolux]

I just got some tips for securing the neighborhood from rory23, one of which struck me as very ironic and oddly timed. Last night was a restive one in the neighborhood and sometime in the wee hours of the night our watchman set off an emergency flare. I couldn't sleep, so I was instantly on my feet, a piece of one of our boom mic stands in my hand. Three or four others were also out in the courtyard with me: Brendan, Mark, Tim, maybe someone else. The first light of day was shining over the horizon, and as we approached the gate the flare had been fired toward, we could see that it was open.

Mark peered out into the street and said there was some stuff out there that was burning, but nothing major. The flare lay in the middle of the street. It seemed okay. Brendan shone his Maglite around the compound. It was about when I'd convinced myself of a false alarm that someone jumped out from behind the nearest house and tackled Tim. He yelled as he hit the ground, and another guy came out from behind the house, running toward Mark. I intercepted him, tripping him with my weapon. He went sprawling across the dirt, and what appeared to be a pistol went flying too. Mark scooped it up and stuck it in his cargo shorts pocket.

The scuffle was attracting the attention of our other residents and a couple of people came out of their houses in pajamas and bathrobes, or with baseball bats or crowbars in their hands. I don't know what came over me, but I just started laying into the guy I'd tripped. I dropped my weapon even, and started whaling on him with my fists. I have no idea what really was happening, but the next thing I knew, Brendan and Mark were pulling me off the guy, and they had to hold me down a second to keep me from getting back up and starting to beat on the guy again. The other intruder had been subdued and Tim and Andy were talking to him, but the guy I'd been beating on was lying, shaking on the ground. My hands were bloody, some of it was his, but it really felt like I'd broken my fingers. I was shaking probably just as much as the intruder was.

"Get them out of here," I said. "Just make them leave."

Two of our residents helped the guy I'd beaten to his feet, and he lurched toward the gate, giving me a wary look. I guess at 5'4" in a half-leg cast I don't look that dangerous, but he sure knew better than that. His buddy was quick to follow him.

"Don't you ever come back!" I yelled after them.

I couldn't get to my feet I was shaking so hard. Mark shut the gate behind them and latched it - maybe it's time to get locks for those things.

"Let's get you inside, man," said Mark - he and Brendan helped me back into the house where we washed off my hands. They were really torn up from my furious punching.

With a little disinfectant and some gauze, all I had left was to make sense of what had just happened. Why did I feel the need to beat on that kid like that? He probably wasn't any older than any of us. He was probably just looking for some food. I couldn't stop shaking for the life of me, even when Lauren came downstairs and started rubbing my shoulders. I really didn't want to see anyone. I really didn't want her to know about what happened. I didn't want anyone to know about what happened.

I'm not like that. I'm not a violent guy. I really do believe that peaceful, rational discourse can solve all of our problems, and I'm hardly ever the first to fight. Maybe all this is taking a bigger toll on me than I originally thought. I don't feel well and have spent the entire morning lying in bed. I can't sleep or eat. I'm scared of myself. Maybe I just need some downtime.
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Shot in the Dark [May. 8th, 2007|11:30 am]
Bike Boy
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[Current Location |Home]
[Current Mood |defeated]
[Current Music |Holland, 1945 - Neutral Milk Hotel]

We finally got out of bed about an hour ago to assess the damage.  Lauren is putting together some tuna sandwiches and I am sitting on the porch after having cleared away the broken glass from our front window.  I had to vacuum the couch so I could sit on it, but the whole neighborhood looks like a war zone now.  My neighbors are picking up trash around their house, scrounging around for usable stuff.  The cars parked in the street - a lot of them have smashed-in windows and have been flipped over, or burned.  My car is completely destroyed.  I don't even want to think about it.  Here is what happened last night.

Around 1, Lauren and I went to sleep in my attic bedroom.  So far, pretty normal.  As we were drifting off to sleep we heard some gunshots, the crackle of breaking glass and a car alarm.  It was finally here, we realized: the rioting was bound to happen to us.  The hippies had had enough.  Lauren got out of bed and looked out the window facing the street - she said she didn't see anything, but the sounds of more gunshots prompted her to come back to bed.

Brendan came running up about ten seconds later, and we could hear the sounds of people waking up downstairs.  We all went downstairs to check the locks on the doors and move some furniture up against the windows and stuff.  Luckily I decided to bring my bike into the basement, which Lauren had to help me with.

Within minutes there were students pouring out of houses, either engaging rioters or joining them.  It was utter pandemonium.  When the first crowbar hit the first car on our block, I swore: that tank of gas was for nothing!  We watched helplessly from our darkened living room as the chaos spread throughout the street for what seemed like ages.  It was really only probably about ten or fifteen minutes before the police arrived with tear gas.  I proposed we all go up to the attic at this point, because it was less likely we'd be affected by the tear gas up there.  There was more shooting - from the small window in the attic, it looked like the police were being shot at and pelted with stones.  Someone was throwing Molotov cocktails, which caught a garage on fire.  I was amazed at how long they stood their ground despite being antagonized like that.

It was kind of inevitable that the police would open fire at the student rioters.  I wish they hadn't - but simultaneously I wish they'd done so earlier.  Like I said, my car is destroyed, my front windows are all blasted in, and a couple of the rioters tried to get into our house to escape the police.  There wasn't much I could do, but Brendan chased them out with a microphone stand.

The radio is saying today that four students were killed and twenty-three injured.  It sure looked like there were more than that last night.  Out on the street today it's eerily quiet.  There is a police barricade at the intersection of my street and State Street.  We were supposed to get some people together for a bike ride out to the countryside today to get some groceries, but I think we're going to have to wait.  My mom just called to make sure we were all okay.  She was kind of mad about the car, but there is nothing I could really do about that.  I really feel like we're on our own now.
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