A line of heavily armed men on motorcycles simultaneously rev up their engines preparing to push civilians out of their way. The intimidation factor is heightened by their impenetrable helmets and black uniforms. Behind this tightly packed line of motorcycles marches armed men followed by a huge empty bus, a fleet of patrol cars, and several enormous public works vehicles.
Without knowing the context, it could easily be assumed that this is taking place in the aftermath of a violent military coup where martial law has been enacted and the military is expected to use brute force to maintain civility.
It is not surprising that as steam began coming out of the public works trucks, many dazed — or intoxicated — onlookers presumed that they were being gassed and fled the vicinity. Who could blame them? The number of officers on Franklin Street on Sunday night was overwhelming and verged on ridiculous.
Even Granville Towers, a renowned safe-haven for partying freshmen, tightened its grip. All 1,000 residents had letters taped to their doors that listed consequences for everything from parking violations to alcohol infractions. Management went so far as to require residents and their two guests — yes, two was the limit — to wear wristbands and carry photo identification, without which residents were not let into their own building.
And, to top it all off, they authorized uniformed and undercover law enforcement personnel to make rounds throughout the property to issue citations for open containers and underage drinking.