Title: “Learning from Defeat: A Riot Police Memoir”
When I served as a riot police officer, the most memorable defeat I experienced was the battle against the bus drivers. My platoon members and I frequently reminisce about this incident because, at the time, it seemed inconceivable for us to lose. However, they outwitted us with such finesse that I felt compelled to extract valuable lessons from their victory.
The Dawn of the Battle:
Technically, the conflict was between urban developers and the bus company. The company owned a parcel of land used as a parking lot, which the developers sought to incorporate into their new apartment complex. Unfortunately, negotiations faltered, and the bus company faced the prospect of losing the lot. For them, it represented a threat to their livelihood, as losing the lot would result in the demise of their business and the drivers losing their jobs.
Regrettably, the court ruled in favor of the developers. The developers had offered a piece of land and compensation deemed reasonable, which the bus company was expected to accept. When the bus company refused to vacate the lot, they inadvertently engaged in illegal occupation of the property. This prompted the developers to seek court authorization for their removal by force, a request that was granted. Consequently, I, as a riot police officer, found myself part of this challenging operation.
The “Impossible to Lose” Battle:
Upon our arrival, the battle had just commenced. On the developers’ side, there were hundreds of mercenaries hired by them, accompanied by a couple of riot police units. On the opposing side, there were approximately fifty bus drivers armed with little more than sticks and pipes. We were equipped with proper armor and weaponry, while they appeared to have been at a significant disadvantage. Nevertheless, ten hours later, we found ourselves utterly defeated. How could this have happened?
The Clash Begins:
To defend the lot, the bus drivers employed every resource at their disposal. Initially, they used their buses to construct a fortress around the property. They strategically positioned the buses at the perimeter, creating a formidable barrier that the mercenaries had little choice but to breach.
Almost immediately, the mercenaries encountered an unexpected obstacle. Astonishingly, the bus drivers had brought their families and seated them inside the buses. I witnessed pregnant women and children looking out the bus windows, with the drivers standing guard on top of the buses. Knowing that harming children and pregnant women was not an option, the mercenaries were compelled to enlist the assistance of the police in removing them. This process consumed the entire morning, as the police had to painstakingly remove each individual from the buses. It was then that we realized their strategy. While the court permitted the removal of the bus drivers by force, this was only authorized for a single day. The developers were running out of time, and the bus drivers had tactically chosen to prolong the process in order to secure a victory.
The Onset of Medieval Warfare:
As time dwindled, the police units decided to launch an attack from the rear of the bus fortress while the mercenaries pressed forward at the front. However, we witnessed something truly absurd unfold. Desperate and low on time and resources, the developers had begun to excavate the ground. The only portion they couldn’t excavate was that square parking lot, inadvertently creating a terrain that was ideal for defense. In order to attack from behind, we were forced to climb the mound from the bottom of the pit.
Climbing the hill to initiate our assault was already a daunting task, but to compound our difficulties, rain began to fall. Yes, the bus drivers were remarkably fortunate in every way. The rain transformed the mound into a slippery mudslide. The unit ahead of me attempted the ascent but was swiftly forced to retreat. As they began the climb, the bus drivers commenced hurling rocks and iced water bottles down the side of the bus fortress. To our dismay, they even poured a bucket of urine upon our comrades. I was fortunate to be in a backup position at the time, but I was compelled to witness this arduous process from start to finish.
Finally, the sun set, marking the conclusion of the court-sanctioned operation. The developers sprawled on the ground, some of them berating the leader of the mercenaries for the defeat. The angry mercenaries castigated the police for their passive assistance and directed their ire at the commissioner, leading to their arrest. The frustrated commissioner left the site, and my unit followed.
Meanwhile, the bus drivers gathered atop the bus wall and celebrated their remarkable victory. They had emerged triumphant from an ostensibly unwinnable battle and gained the upper hand in future compensation negotiations. It was a resounding victory indeed.
Reflecting upon this incident, I have identified three key reasons why the bus drivers were able to secure victory in this seemingly impossible battle. Firstly, they possessed a level of desperation and a “do whatever it takes” mindset that set them apart. Their livelihoods were at stake, and the fear of not being able to support their families served as a powerful motivator. In contrast, the mercenaries were part-time hires, and the police units were primarily there to prevent escalation. The disparity in morale was palpable. Secondly, the bus drivers displayed strategic brilliance by capitalizing on the element of time. They recognized that time was not on the developers’ side and employed their families to buy precious hours while fortifying their defenses with the bus walls. Lastly, luck played a significant role in this pivotal event. The unexpected rain made it impossible for anyone to ascend the muddy slope and breach the bus walls. The bus drivers effectively leveraged this stroke of luck to protect their land until sunset. Without the weather’s favor, the outcome might have been different.
1. Embrace Desperation
2. Employ Strategic Thinking
3. Acknowledge the Role of Luck
In this memoir, I have recounted a remarkable experience that taught me invaluable lessons in perseverance, strategy, and the unpredictable nature of fate. As I reflect upon this defeat, I carry with me a deeper understanding of the multifaceted factors that can influence the outcome of any endeavor, and I am grateful for the opportunity to share these insights with others.