Lost in the Shadows
Harriet’s Opinion of the Week: Craftpunk Vigilantes
-StarTribFeed – updated 00:01 March 18 2076
by Harriet Lime, regular columnist
By now most of you have seen the Balsam Street riot footage. If you haven’t, your power has been out. The images of the small group of neighborhood watch folks in matching jackets armed with baseball bats, stun guns, and mace trying to hold off a group of looters are dramatic. The fact that you can see the frightened faces of the residents, including several adorable children, adds to the drama. It’s clear that the thugs are about to overwhelm this ragtag group when suddenly there’s a roar of challenge off camera and a strangely dressed army appears. Suddenly the tide is turned and in just a few short minutes the apartment building is saved. The residents cheer and the footage ends with several of them coming out to hug their unexpected protectors. Heartwarming right? Well maybe not.
This six and a half minute video has gone viral. It’s been shown on all the local network newsfeeds and several of the national newsfeeds. The reporters smile at the end and say something vapid about how good it is to see people banding together against violence. Yet no one is talking about what makes this all so troubling. Why were the people on Balsam Street fending for themselves in the first place? Where was Knight Errant? Where was SPPD? And who is this army that’s being lauded as heroes?
The truth is that while the storm could have been worse and the city has recovered quickly the authorities failed us miserably. Both Knight Errant and SPPD were completely ineffective during the trouble on Friday night. They didn’t have enough man-power and the people they did have out there weren’t anywhere near where the worst of the trouble was. Not convinced of their incompetence? The Spoon and Cherry – a sculpture that weighs several tons – was stolen on Thursday and KE didn’t even begin their investigation until Saturday morning!
So what happens when those who are supposed to be protecting us aren’t? We get roving groups of vigilantes and they get lauded as heroes. The truth is that the big heroes from Balsam Street are part of a dangerous anti-corp fringe group called “The Revivalists ”. They make their own weapons and tech so that they can get around the laws that are in place to regulate such things. So the lawless go out and commit violence and just because they happen to do a little good we’re willing to cheer for them? When private citizens begin to take the law into their own hands it’s a sign that the system is broken. We should not shower those who do this with acclaim. We should be looking at the system and try to figure out what’s broken.
Anyone else think it’s time for a new sheriff in town? Someone who can handle both the regular criminals and the vigilantes that have decided they know what needs to be done?
Before anyone starts on how Lime’s bravely criticizing the whole ‘Private Policing’ system, its probably worth noting here that Horizon is the single largest holder of Star Tribune stock, and the one Mega in town not trying for a piece of the security contract pie.
(OOC: Special thanks to user Catalyst for providing this)