Ermilia’s Picture it & Write.


The riot went on for days without ceasing. An angry mob, majority of whom were young men, had gathered in the town square, calling frantically for heads to roll. Out of youthful zeal and misguided fanaticism, some set shops and cars ablaze and destroyed public property worth millions with petrol bombs. The police were at their wits’ end and were completely outnumbered and ‘outgunned’.  It didn’t really matter to the public that the government was calling for calm. Even the journalists jeered at the Presidential Spokesperson when he held the press conference. The public’s dissatisfaction with the government had evidently overspilled its banks.

“They killed my father for no apparent reason,” wailed a protestor.

“My husband died and I didn’t even get to say goodbye,” said an elderly woman in tears.

“How could they shoot unarmed people?” an angry protestor chipped in.

The march towards the presidential palace had been peaceful. They were only armed with a petition to the head of state for fair wages. A police officer accidentally shot a canister of tear gas into the crowd. It was an honest mistake, but the tumult that followed called for more stringent measures. The crowd thought it was an overreaction from the police while the dispersing crowd was interpreted by the police as an incipient riot. That was when all hell broke loose. Rubber bullets were fired into the crowd, or at least that was the official statement the police released to the media. Then they sprayed pressurized water on the crowd. It took less than fifteen minutes for things to calm down, but by then eleven people were dead with close to a hundred injured.

Now a real riot has began with no end in sight. It seems the nation did not learn from the 1948 disturbances.