An outbreak of violence during an otherwise peaceful demonstration threatened to mar Groundhog Day festivities and overshadow the message of hope and renewal delivered by the Archons in their annual address.
The demonstration, which was held to protest The Park’s policy of open immigration, began outside the Law Courts at approximately 08:30, just minutes after the Archons concluded their address.
Participants described the demonstration as “initially peaceful,” until a particularly aggressive groups of Animals, wielding heavy placards, hijacked the cause and “beat up on the [other] participants.”
“It got ugly pretty quick,” said Randall Rhinoceros, a protester who was taken to the Park Hospital with injuries to his feet and snout.
While hundreds of Animals were treated for their injuries as a result of the violence, there are reports that some injured Animals were hauled off to jail before they received any treatment at all. Some of those involved blame the Guard Dogs for a substantial number of the injuries that were incurred in the demonstration.
“They were too quick off the mark, as far as I’m concerned,” said Yvonne Aardvark. “They didn’t wait to find out who was causing the trouble. They just rounded everybody up and sent them to jail.”
An investigation into the incident is underway, according to The Park’s Chief Officer of Peace, Raymond H. Mink.