The celebration of the birth of The Park’s first leader turned ugly yesterday when political arguments among residents resulted in violence that sent a number of Animals to jail or to hospital.
The full-day holiday recognizes the birth of Jor, whose vision of Animal self-rule brought us modern zoocracy. The occasion is usually a solemn one, but this year it was made less so by arguments about sortition, the so-called lottery method by which the Archons who form our government are selected. A growing number of citizens have become disenchanted with sortition over the past few years and proponents of its abolition have become increasingly vocal and aggressive.
“Park residents are known to be passionate about their politics, and we’ve usually seen this as a good thing, a healthy thing,” said Gareth Shepherd, President of the Federation of Canine Security Workers (FCSW), who was in attendance at the event when violence broke out.
“But this sortition argument just got plain ugly. It started with words, and then it turned physical.”
According to police accounts, the violence escalated to the point where arrests became necessary.
“The verbal attacks were bad enough, but the physical blows…we had to stop it,” said one officer who wished not to be named.
At the Park Hospital for the Afflicted and Infirm, the triaging lasted until well into the evening, with many patients resisting treatment in order to rejoin the fight.
“Even as they lay bleeding, they refused to restrain themselves from invective,” said Hermione Hippo, the hospital’s head nurse.
“We had to separate quite a number of Animals,” she said.
Balthasar Alouatta, spokesAnimal for the Archons, confirmed this morning that Chief Archon Raymond Mink will formally address the violence later this week.
“He—and all the Archons— are both horrified and mystified by this violence and they mean to stop it in its tracks,” Alouatta said.