I keep telling everyone about Pavlov's House
. One under-strength platoon held an apartment
building for thirty-two days against daily Nazi attack during the Battle of Stalingrad. They fought off tanks, SS paratroopers, waves and waves of
Nazis day in, day out until relieved. The students don't believe me, of course, but I keep trying to tell them about it. I try to relate other last
stands: Thermopylae, Rorke's Drift, the Imperial Guard. I keep trying to convince them that someone, anyone is coming to help us. But they don't
believe me, seeing the crowd out there, gathering. Seeing the flames flicker, knowing that the anarchistos are down at the highschool lighting
Molotovs. My crunchies know they're coming to try and smoke us out. They all know the odds. I think most of them have given up dreams of making their
communities a better place, and settled for killing a few more black bloc asshats. My DIs would be proud.
I know how it started, I just don't know how it got so bad. I served in Afghanistan and Haiti as a medic. I did my time for my country, then came
home. It was like living in exile, I guess. The military cushioned me from the civvie world. I came home to find that the government, the military,
and the police were being branded Nazis for...well, for doing their jobs. The police enforced the laws, and they hadn't changed since before I made
the choice to join up six years ago. Jesus, I know it for a fact; I was angling to get back to the dream of being a SWAT cop, maybe canine during my
last month or so. I hit the books, brushed up on my law. Of course, I come back home, talk to my parents, and I learn about the BS that was going on
before the Revolution. The Vancouver Riots, the attacks on off-duty cops. I took my severance pay, bought myself a small arsenal, and rethought my
position from the safety of my parent's basement. My basement, now.
So, I went back to my alma mater, Sheridan College. They saw my resume, hired me full time on the spot as a graduate of their Police Foundations
course. I guess no one else wanted to teach the next generation of police officers. I started that September, with the smallest class yet. The first
time I saw them, they were a pitiful lot. Three had facial bruises earned on the way there, more that that sat glumly with food and spitstains on
their clothes. Looked terrible, but it was my job to mold them into the sharp end of the justice system. I told them my credentials, and the very
first thing I did was break them down into three sections. Gave them competition, internal and external. Then, I gave them a taste of hell- a three
mile run on the track behind the school, spaced out with diamond pushups, leg lifts, and any other unpleasantness I could come up with. I did it with
them, and the first day we weeded out the weak and gave the survivors something to bond around. Shared suffering, shared friendship.
It took a month to get them in shape, but they were there. I told them the first day of October that they were to take a poll, and give their platoon
a name. Three sections, ten men apiece. I assigned leaders, and the three of them didn't disappoint me. I had given them crap all day, every day for
a month, just like my DI's had done to me. Most of them had been given a 'final opportunity' to get themselves squared away to my satisfaction,
which most did. They thought of themselves as the bottom of the barrel, so they came to me with a name that any recruit, anywhere could appreciate:
1st Platoon, A Div, commonly referred to as Cameron's Last Chancers. My boys and girls. Despite the news, despite the anti-police, anti military
media stance, I didn't lose a one of them.
I made a small pennant for them, and during the daily PT had them running laps of the main building, shouting cadence at the top of their lungs. Every
morning and evening, we did pushups in the pathway between J-Wing and the SCAET building in front of God and everyone. The flagbearer stood on guard,
and often enough a sweaty young man or woman armed with eight feet of doweling was enough to discourage the passers-by from anything but verbal abuse.
I still had to arrest more than a few of the more aggressive protesters, which turned into lessons by themselves. It didn't earn me any friends with
most of the faculty, or the Dean, but I wasn't gonna put up with anyone laying a hand on my platoon.
It took until November of the first year for the guys to get to making a habit of shaving their heads, military style. The women were the ones who
started it, keeping their hair regulation. The guys figured out soon after that a number-one buzzcut made hygiene less of a pain in the ass, and it
looked good. Took only three months to learn pride and teamwork for my platoon. I suppose having the hatred of so many helped- walking in pairs or
trios to cars to the sound of anarchist jeers. I never could figure out why the campus was alive with such violently anti-authority scumbags, and I
The riots got worse. They went from events like the G8 riots, to monthly riots downtown. The protesters made a big stink about globalization, poverty,
this and that. The police listened until the bottles and rocks started to fly, and the 'protests' turned th mayhem. Nathan Phillips Square was often
a battleground. The injuries started to mount on both sides, and then in major cities. All of them, across Canada. Then a mounted police officer
paralyzed a York University student, and things got a lot worse. Students and unions fought police openly for three days in Montreal. As the weeks
wore on, police were mauled by projectiles, but protesters walked away from the fights worse for wear. Despite the restrictions placed on them, the
thin blue line held.
It took half a year for the Liberals to get a proper lynch mob together and start tearing into police departments and the upper levels of the Forces,
on a witchunt for corruption. They found some, yes, and it kept the fires fueled. More than punk protesters joined on the bandwagon- former hippies,
peace activists, and the NDP openly called for senior police officers to resign, and a toughening of the federal policing laws. All the while, violent
crime went up, especially against uniformed first responders. We watched, shook our heads. Crime rates were going up because the police were being
harassed and attacked, not because they were slacking off. The harder the police had to work, the more likely they got themselves into scenes of
alleged (and actual) brutality. The vicious circle had begun.