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  • The barricades were burning, and over the screaming you could just make out the police woman’s voice, squealing over the bullhorn.

    “You have two minutes to disperse,” she said. “This has been declared an unlawful assembly. You are in violation of California Penal Code Section 409. If you do not disperse, chemical agents will be used against you. Projectile weapons will be used against you. Non-lethal and even lethal force may be used against you. This is your final warning. Fall back on Broadway to south of 15th street. You must disperse now.”

    Some protestors started to run. Others reached into their backpacks and took out bandanas and gas masks. Others took off their shirts and wrapped them up around their faces to cover their mouths and their noses to prepare for the gas that we all knew was coming. Others didn’t have bandanas or gas masks at all, and the night was too cold to take off their shirts, and two minutes seemed like a very long time, depending on what you were doing.
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