Protection

ALL RIGHT, SETTLE DOWN. We don’t have long so I need you to listen to me closely.  Take notes if you want to but when you’re out there you’re not going to have time to check them.  You’re going to have to know what I’m telling you by heart and trust it enough to use it effectively.  With all the noise and everything going on it’s going to be very easy to forget things, so listen up now, all right?

All right.

First thing.  I know some of you have been transferred over from Registration. This is not Registration.  This is entirely different from Registration. Different crowd, different everything. Forget whatever you did in Registration.  Those of you who have been transferred from Food, if you have a minute, tell those who have been transferred from Registration what it was like in Food.  This is not quite like Food, but almost, so keep that in mind.  This is one step removed from Food.

I’m sure you all know what happened in Food. That is not going to happen here. We will work together to make sure that does not happen here.  What happened in Food happened because the people in Food forgot what they were supposed to have learned here.  What happened in Food happened because the people in Food forgot the basic procedures we are going to teach you here.  If something happens–inside or outside of the barricade–all you have to do is remember the basic procedures and follow them.  You do not want to end up like the people in Food, I guarantee you that.

All right.

You are in what is called Protection.  It is called Protection because that is what we do here, we protect.  We protect people and we protect property.  We protect people first.  First and foremost, we protect people.  Property is a secondary concern.  I will repeat this because it is at the heart of what we do here.  Property is a secondary concern at all times.  If at any time you have to make a choice, you will choose to protect the person and not the property.

I will give you an example.  For example, tomorrow when the shipment arrives there will be pushing at the barricade.  You will see men, women and children pushing at the barricade for no other reason than the shipment has arrived.  You are not protecting the shipment in this case.  You are protecting these men, women and children from injuring themselves in trying to get to the shipment.  If they were to break through the barricade and try to get to the shipment, many, many more of them would be injured than they would be normally.  In essence, you are protecting them by holding them back at the barricade.  The shipment itself is a secondary concern.

So. People, not property.  That is the first rule of Protection.  Remember the first rule and everything else will be easy.

Any questions?

No.

All right.

Today people will start showing up here on the plaza.  There are some of these people on the plaza already.  These people who are already here are almost all traders.  They are almost never a problem.  They are here to do business.  They trade for extra coupons and try to use them.  You do not have to like them, but they are not Protection’s problem.  They are Security’s problem, so let Security deal with them.  If you’re having a problem with one of them, do not waste your time.  Buzz for Security with the yellow button.

Again, the yellow button is for Security.  This will make complete and total sense to you when you see Security wearing their yellow uniforms.

Likewise, Security has the option of buzzing us.  In this case, you as an agent of Protection will ascertain what level of Protection is necessary.  Protection does not, I repeat, does not take orders from Security.

As I was saying, today the people will start showing up on the plaza as soon as they hear the general announcement.  The announcements will run all day and all of tonight, starting in roughly one hour.  At that time we will be fully in position on the plaza with the barricade in place.  Once the barricade is in place it cannot be removed until the distribution of the shipment is complete. Only the main gates of the barricade can be moved.

We are expecting a crowd of somewhere between one hundred to one hundred and fifty thousand people.  Each of them is supposed to have one coupon.  We are expecting a shipment of two hundred thousand units. There are one hundred and fifty of us. One hundred and fifty.  It is for that exact reason that you need to remember what I’m telling you.

As the people start showing up, we will promenade. We promenade for two reasons. First, to indicate our presence. And second, to establish an intimacy. There is nothing more comforting to the average citizen than the presence of an agent of Protection, and there is nothing more comforting to the agent of Protection than intimacy with those citizens he or she protects.  This has been proven time and again.

We promenade early not only because there is room to promenade then, but because there is time.  Most of these people will be here nearly twenty-four hours. They have nothing to do.  Lacking something to do, they will grow bored and look for something to do.  Our presence and intimacy will deter them from doing something that might injure themselves or others.

We will talk with these people.  We will laugh and tell jokes and conduct ourselves in a cordial manner at all times.  We will assure them–and this is critical–that the shipment is coming.  We will dispel all rumors concerning the shipment.  We will tell them that, barring unforeseen circumstances, the shipment will arrive tomorrow at thirteen hundred hours.  If they ask us the size of the shipment, we will assure them that there will be enough for everyone.

Now.

Never.  Promenade. Alone.

I will say that again for all of you in the back. Never, promenade, alone.

That is the second rule of Protection.  I suggest you remember it.

When you promenade alone, you are at the mercy of the crowd.  The crowd has no mercy.  If you don’t believe me, ask some of these people from Food.

Always promenade with a partner.  In that case, you will have someone to help you in case a situation occurs.  We will have people in the crowd, of course, and they will help you if a situation occurs, but you cannot rely on them. Rely on your partner and not on the mercy of the crowd.  Protecting yourself and your partner is a part of protecting the crowd.

A large part of protecting the crowd before the shipment arrives involves breaking up altercations.  Most of these altercations will concern either territory or, more often, coupons.  You will be given coupons to be used in these situations.  You will use your best disgression in these situations. You will not give any single person more than one coupon.  You will confiscate any and all coupons from any person with more than one coupon. This includes traders.

However.

Under no circumstance will you use any but defensive physical tactics to break up an altercation.  When you are outside of the barricade, we cannot respond quickly enough to insure your safety in that type of situation.  If you do find yourself in that type of situation, you and/or your partner will want to buzz for Protection using the green button.

The green button is for Protection.  If you forget all the other buttons, remember the green button.

The shock baton is to be used as a tool, not as a weapon.  You have all been taught the correct way to use this tool, but sometimes in a close situation that is not possible.  You will remember from your training that the most vulnerable area of an assailant is the upper body, including the arms.  You can most efficiently defend yourself by striking the upper body of your assailant as close to the heart as possible.  In the event that your assailant receives a shock charge, he or she will remain unconscious for less than one minute.  During this minute, you and your partner may administer restraints to your assailant immediately with no adverse effects to yourselves.  If a bystander inadvertantly receives a shock charge, you are not to administer medical treatment.  You will buzz for Medical using the red button.

Are there any questions about the buttons?

Green for Protection, yellow for Security, red for Medical.  You should have that memorized by now.

You may use the shock baton at your disgression, but be aware that its use, especially outside of the barricade, may be counterproductive.  The ultimate tool is words, especially for this particular crowd.  They are here for words and they are here because of words.  One reason why you individually have been chosen for this particular detail is your own facility with words.  Your presence as an agent of Protection and your words will deter all but a small minority of this crowd.  Despite their size they are not physical, as is the case with Food.  Taking an individual aside and speaking with him or her privately may defuse a situation.  This is a good practice in any case.  You do not want to let the individual use the altercation as a stage. You want to keep the crowd out of the altercation.  Use your words and your reason first.  Resort to force only after words have failed.

Your shock baton will not discharge without your battery pack.  If you should lose possession of your shock baton, it cannot be used without your battery pack.  If you lose your shock baton, do not attempt to retrieve it.  Buzz for Protection and we will arrange for another to be delivered to you.

Do not use your shock baton on children, on adults above the age of fifty, or on adults weighing less than sixty kilos.  Children, fifty, sixty.  If you inadvertantly use it on children or on an elderly or smaller adult, buzz for Medical using the red button.

Are there any questions on the shock baton?  You in the back there.

The question is, what kind of damage does the baton do.

The baton’s charge interrupts the heart.  The burn itself is only first degree, and easily treatable by Medical.

All right.

By tonight we expect a crowd of somewhere between forty and fifty thousand people, most of whom but not all will have their coupons. These people are here for one thing and one thing only.  They are easy to deal with.  This is not Food.  Most of them are adults and the majority of them are women.  The traders up front will not give you any problems.  The only problems you are likely to see are with the teenagers and younger adults, so keep a close eye on them as you promenade.  There are not many of them so they should be easy to keep an eye on.  Make a special effort to speak with them, to develop that intimacy.  It’s been found that some of the younger troublemakers have a fascination with Protection.  It’s a documented finding that some of the worst troublemakers actually grow up to make the best agents.

At midnight the lights in the plaza will dim.  Officially there is no curfew tonight, but we would like to close off the plaza to all traffic at that point.  On the diagram here you will see where we have erected temporary fencing running unbroken from the square to the barricade.  This is for the protection of the crowd.  We want to minimize the number of people coming in and out while they sleep, for their own protection.  We will continue to promenade at full strength throughout the night.

At zero seven hundred hours we will reopen the plaza to foot traffic only.  Here beside the sanitary and medical facilities will be a number of private vendors.  These vendors have paid for the privilege of selling their goods and should be afforded the same protection the crowd enjoys.  We will have a detachment of agents permanently stationed by these vendors, as that has been a trouble spot in the past.

At this point, we expect the crowd to swell quickly to its full size.  The announcements will be running almost constantly, and the city has scheduled a special transport service to bring people in from the suburbs.  The potential danger in this is that these people will be unfamiliar with the city.  We will direct them as best we can.  In the case of missing children or parents, there is a central location for them to be taken to inside the barricade.  Likewise for medical emergencies, but that again would be the red button.  In the past, we have seen some of the elderly become disoriented; it is best to deal with that as a medical emergency.

The crowd will be excited, and you should expect it to be loud.  A fair number of agents experiencing this for the first time are surprised at how loud they are.  But take a minute and consider.  They have waited six months for today.  They have heard nothing but rumors since the first announcement.  A week ago, without warning, they receive their coupons.  Their neighbor has received one, and their friends all across the city.  What do they talk about besides the last time–six months ago, remember–and how much fun it was, how it made them feel?  And then the announcements start up in earnest, hour after hour.  It is absolutely normal for them to be excited.  It would be abmormal if they were not excited.

But listen.

When people get excited, that’s when they hurt themselves. Just like animals.

People deep down are animals, so it makes sense.  Get excited, get hurt.

An animal that is excited is not capable of making decisions.  You are.

They, are not.  In a way, they’re asking us to make their decisions for them.  To protect them while they are in this excited state.  So they don’t hurt themselves. That is the responsibility we are charged with, and how well we fulfill that responsiblity is a function of how well we understand them, and what they want.

What they want is the shipment.  They want it to be here on time, and they want it to be enough for everyone.  If that happens, everyone goes away happy, all we have to do is stand there and smile.

And that might happen.  It’s happened before.

I would love that to happen.  I would applaud it.

But I would not step out there past that barricade if I wasn’t prepared for it not happening.

What if the shipment doesn’t come?  In that case, we are prepared to move the crowd out of the plaza with the help of the city’s mobile units.  Straight back out and across the square and down into the city proper, which is a problem.  We expect a number of windows would be broken, possibly a transport torched–again, the younger element–but again, this is not Food.  Casualties would be contained–we hope.  The city would have to scramble their transports to handle the crowd, but eventually everyone would get home.

Is that the worst that could happen?

Of course not.

Do any of you remember what happened in Paris three years ago?

Correct.

That is the worst that can happen.  There the shipment was on time, in fact there were enough for everybody–there was a surplus, actually.  So you see, it does not have to be Food (though usually it is).

What happened in Paris was that the crowd thought there would not be enough, and their Protection could not reassure them because they did not promenade correctly.  They thought presence was enough.  Rumors spread through the crowd and soon the people in back were pushing and they could not open the main gates and ultimately the barricade gave way.
Can anyone tell me how many people were killed?

Six hundred and sixty-one, that’s correct.  For what?

A lack of belief.

Protection is about belief.  It is the crowd believing things will go smoothly because we tell them they will go smoothly and we believe it.  Part of that is accomplished by our presence and our demeanor. Again, words.  Reassurance.  Intimacy.

The shipment will arrive late in the morning, earlier than we said it will.  The transports will come in this way, along the barricade so everyone can see them. The crowd will move toward them, but not as much as they would if they were expecting them.  The fact that the shipment is early will defuse some anxiety and give the crowd a reason to cheer.  Take advantage of this.  Say you’ve seen shipments come in early but never this early.  Say you’d better go see if there’s any problem, then come back and say there’s no problem and that with luck maybe everyone will go home a little early today.  Act happy. Your demeanor will become theirs.

Those outside the barricade.  At this point you will form a loose skirmish line in front of the barricade while the transports unload.  You will have your helmets on but unstrapped and your shock batons holstered. You will appear to be waiting like everyone else.  You will make smalltalk with the traders and other civilians in front until it is time to open the gates.

Those inside the barricade.  You will take your stations behind the tables and along the exit corridors as shown here.  The sellers will handle the coupons exclusively.  If there is a dispute over a coupon, that is a matter for Security, not for Protection.  You will assist Security in these matters but, again, at your own disgression.

When the gates are opened, there will be a surge forward.  Those outside the gates should anticipate this surge and take action to prevent anyone from being trampled underfoot.  If someone should fall, do not kneel down to help them, as others will then fall over you, thereby multiplying the problem.  With your partner, swiftly reach down with one hand and grab hold of whatever you can–whether that is clothing or a hand or even hair–and drag the person diagonally forward and inside the barricade where there will be more room.  If the person is injured, buzz Medical with the red button.

Remember the carry your instructors showed you in training.  It is an all purpose carry.

Those outside the barricade.  If someone attempts to scale the barricade, do not stop them.  If you attempt to stop them, they will only fall back into the crowd and cause a larger problem.  Let them attempt to climb over.  It is not as easy as it looks.

Those inside the barricade.  Be sure to aggressively restrain anyone who climbs over the barricade, as a warning to others still outside.  You will have ample room inside the barricade to safely use your shock baton. Early on is a good time to show what your shock baton can do and to prevent especially the younger people from attempting this maneuver.

Those inside the main gates will break the crowd into orderly lines.  Keep them moving through the tables and out the exit corridors.  No one is permitted to exit back out through the main gates, no matter what they say.  They must exit through the exit corridors.  Be firm. The table is no place to argue. If the person persists, take them physically aside so they are not blocking the gates, the table, or the corridor.

People will reach the table and not have a coupon. You may give them a coupon at your disgression.  You are not required to give them a coupon.  Again, this is a matter for Security.  Yellow button.

Once they exit the corridor they will exit the plaza by following the temporary fencing.  Transports will be waiting by the square to transport them home.

The entire process will take between five and six hours, depending on the size of the crowd.  Be aware that the supply could run out.  We will try to ascertain the possibility of this when the shipment arrives. If the supply appears to be running out, we will have to close the main gates.  Those outside the barricade will be warned ahead of time so they can take up positions inside the barricade.  The city has a full mobile unit on call that will then clear the plaza and the square. We will not be asked to clear the plaza or the square in that case.

If the supply proves to be adequate–and I think it will; it normally is–there should be no major problem.  But you need to be prepared for the worst.  The crowd can turn quickly–again, like an animal. You are here for their protection, and most of them understand that, but there are a few who consider you an enemy simply because of your uniform.

This leads me to the third and final rule of Protection.

You are here to protect them as well, mostly from themselves.

I agree, it’s not an easy job.  But take a minute and consider.  What would they do to each other if we weren’t here?

The only remedy to that question is you–is us, Protection.

Remember what I’ve told you.  Remember your basic procedures.  This is not Food.  This is not Paris.  Red, yellow, green.  People, not property.  Never promenade alone.  Protect everyone.

Are there any questions?

Yes.

A little louder?

The book.  He’s asking if he can have a copy of the book.

Yes, if there are enough of them.

In back there.

No, I must admit I’m not much of a reader.  Here, I’ll make you a deal.  If there are enough of them, you can have my copy.

All right.  Now let’s get out there and protect these people.

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