Harrisburg United Against Hate had met with the mayor to ensure there’d be no police presence. Once the media got wind of the agreement, they decided to avoid the event. They hadn’t fared well with HUAH during its previous operations.
The noise of shoes echoing off the pavement mixed with a jumble of shouting and chanting. An unmistakable voice rose above it all. “Violence against hate isn’t violence!”
Movie star Ciara Jacobs was only seven paces ahead in her sleeveless white T-shirt and form-fitting jeans. Haley smiled, pleased that they were similarly-dressed. Of course, her tee and jeans were nothing like Ciara’s. And Ciara wore oversized hiking boots while Haley had on an old pair of cross-trainers. But she didn’t care about the differences: just being close to her gave her a charge.
Ciara’s black hair was up in a bun and she wore sunglasses that must have cost at least four figures. Two bodyguards and a personal assistant filming with a smartphone kept pace with her. The bodyguards made sure Haley couldn’t get any closer than five feet even when she hurried to catch up.
Soon others started chanting, “Violence against hate isn’t violence!” and it became the chant for the remainder of the march.
Haley joined in as Harrisburg United Against Hate reached the first intersection. Some halted and wanted to help stop traffic, but others barreled on through. That emboldened everyone and once they crossed the intersection, they moved off the sidewalk and into the street.
All traffic on North Fourth Street had to stop for the mob that totaled over a hundred people. As they reached the next intersection, still chanting, Haley caught a glimpse of the rally point.
“Hey,” she said to a kid in a black ball cap. “Who’re we going after today, anyway?”
He stopped chanting and told her, “They’re called WBP. I think it stands for We’ve Been Patient.”
“Ever heard of them before?”
“Nah,” he said, shrugging. “But who cares, right? They say they oppose progress on all the important issues. How outrageous is that? I mean, hate is hate and someone has to stop them.”
(Taken from Our Violence Isn’t Violence by Paul Hair.)
This story, along with twelve other hard-hitting tales of science fiction, satire, horror, and more are available in Appalling Stories: 13 Tales of Social Injustice!