Confederation Day Celebration Turns Violent

New New Orleans, Titan, Saturnine Confederacy -- 16 May 2057:  Parades throughout the moons and stations of Saturn this day were intended to honour the founding of the Confederacy; but some have attracted political demonstrations which have become riots.  Early estimates tally property damage to several credits, over 500 injured and nearly 800 arrests.  No deaths have yet been reported.  Our correspondant, Gelf Shmedley, described the scene in the Confederate capital of New New Orleans in an email:

"The parades on Confed Day are always raucous, with elements of triumphalism and anti-Alliance sentiment.  But today's demonstration was just unreal.  I saw Chancellor Galorvian burned in effigy; I saw posters of Galorvian in Hitler drag, and others compared the Technocrats to Nazis and the Socialist party to Stalinists.  In this day and age; it was unbelievable.  Then there were the people firing plasma rifles and HERF busters into the air.  They reinforce the dome and harden all the electronics specifically because people are known to do this, particularly on Confed Day.  But it seemed to be a spark across a short circuit this time.  That was about when people started raging, smashing windows, looting shops, trampling other underfoot.  It was like seeing people regress to the level of animals.  I have to thank Jesus Mohammed nothing happened to me."

Confederation Day is a strangely erratic holiday, as the Saturnines tend to live according to local planetary calendars and clocks rather than Earth Standard Time, as a matter of principle as much as practicality.  Thus, the "anniversary" of the founding of the Confederacy is usually celebrated according to the orbital periods of the various moons and Ring-synchronous stations.  Today's Confederation Day celebrates the first full Saturn-year since the founding, nearly three Earth-decades ago.  This, in addition to the recent controversy and ill feeling due to a property dispute over a crashed deep-space probe, may partly explain the high tempers which attended the festivities.  Confederate Authority Chairman Deuce Titslinger publicly broadcast a rambling statement calling the riots a "national shame, a stain on the face of our fair Confederacy" and chiding the rioters for "playing into the slanderous stereotypes our detractors put about of the boorish, violent, greedy Saturnine" before going on to inveigh against "UNAC provocateurs" and state that "the Bureaucrats in Baikonur can hardly be surprised of their arrogant, heavy-handed pronouncements bring justifiable anger from our outraged citizens."

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