In the London borough of Hackney the police stood in four tightly knitted ranks. The rank positioned at the forefront was hidden by big and strong glass shields. The second rank, right behind the first, was an essential part of the bodily infrastructure that constituted their defense. So followed the other two. Police officers in black helmets with glass visors and black padded suits. The air was filled with the angry voices of teenagers creating havoc in the burning streets, angry about the MP’s recent decisions, about the phone hacking scandal, about police corruption, about power.
There was no moment to stop, to think. Saxelby looked at Mitchell and Townsend. “It’s time.”, she shouted. With no visible expression of self-doubt or confusion on her face, she threw a smoke bomb toward the police with determined force, and charged at them as fast as she could. Her intention was to get past them, to reach the house of an MP that had the biggest hands in the recent salary cuts. Even though these did not directly affect her, by charging at the police, amongst other angry men and women fighting for their rights, she felt an adrenaline rush; an acceleration of the heart caused by her participation.
She could feel Mitchell and Townsend’s hearts beating for her, with her. The tightness of their chests in watching her every sprint, her every step as she grew closer and closer to those phallic shields. Through all the big, rowdy men, as a petite woman she was close to getting passed the human barriers undetected. As she reached the first rank, however, she locked eyes with the smallest one on the left-hand side of the row. He was a young Caucasian man, who looked to have come from some small town where nothing happens, and where his mother raised him to be a gentleman, and treat ladies respectfully. He was shaking, the palpitations of his heart were visible. He had the face of “Why is she doing this? I am going to have to forcefully stop her. Why did I have to look?”.
“Madam, I am going to have to ask you to refrain from advancing any further”.
“You are going to have to stop me yourself. If not, I am getting past you one way or another. I need answers.”
“Please, madam, please go back.”