The food riots is a common term for a wave of civil unrest and protests that swept across the United States of America as a reaction to decreasing food supply and strict rationing instituted by the federal government during war time. As the economy worsened in response to the drawn-out conflict, so did the intensity of the protests, eventually resulting in violence. Riots steadily grew in intensity as hungry, frustrated Americans had to put up with dwindling rations and increasingly oppressive domestic policies.
The food riots are intimately tied to the Sino-American War, which began in 2066. As resource rationing began, coinciding with food shortages in Mexico and the Great Midwest Commonwealth, the food supply greatly decreased, eventually culminating in the food riots.
By January 2077, the federal government decided to introduce the stick (perhaps due to the shortage of carrots), by deploying front line divisions equipped with power armor to quell domestic unrest. Desertions began as veterans of China and Alaska found themselves fighting fellow Americans. The government mocked the protesters, claiming that the President had it tough either: He had to substitute cube steak for his nightly prime rib, and rely on the "detestable" Chateau Montrose 2043 vintage (34 year old wine, in other words). Protesters were dismissed out of hands and likened to rabid Reds.
The combination of these factors only further exacerbated the problems. In just one incident in Roxbury, Boston, four were killed and eight others injured when the hungry crowd stormed a food bank and soldiers guarding the depot opened fire into the unarmed crowd. What made the situation particularly noticeable was the fact that soldiers were deliberately picking out targets in the crowd in advance - and laughing as they did so.
- Citadel terminals; Capital Post Top Stories -- January 11, 2077, Food Riots Rile Feds: "Food Riots Rile Feds
By Walter "Street Beat" Munroe
Capital Post Staff Writer
It would appear that Washington's tolerance for American social disorder has finally reached its breaking point.
In a recent public statement, White House spokesman Warren Eccleston said:
"Okay, Americans are hungry. We get it. Well I've got news for you - things are tough all over, people. The President himself has been forced to substitute cube steak for his nightly prime rib, and the only wine available is a detestable Chateau Montrose 2043. But does he whine? Does he take to the streets like a rabid Red? So please, good people, please. Wait in line. Get your food. And then go home. We're Americans! We do not solve our problems with violence.""
- Boston Bugle building terminals; Boston Bugle Article Terminal, Article 3: "Boston Food Riots Continue
By Buster Connolly
Boston Bugle Staff Writer
In what can only be described as a scene of absolute pandemonium, on Friday afternoon soldiers of the United States Army's 184th Infantry Regiment opened fire on a group of unarmed civilians after an unknown person smashed the plate glass window of the Roxbury Food Bank, prompting several people in the line outside to storm into the establishment. As of yesterday evening, at least four people were confirmed dead and eight others injured, but Jonathan Corman, spokesman for the Army, insists the troops acted within their authority.
"The soldiers in question issued explicit verbal warnings several times. Those people knew exactly what would happen if they broke the line and attacked the food bank. Hunger is no excuse for civil disobedience, vandalism or - in this case - starting a riot that puts the lives of every civilian in the area at risk. It is the role of the United States Army to maintain order in this difficult time, and that is exactly what happened in this instance. I would also like to point out that the soldiers of the 184th Infantry Regiment have not had a food ration in two days. These men and women understand hunger probably better than anyone."
It is a response the American people have grown accustomed to, as violent scenes like the one in Roxbury have played out again and again, across the country, as a starving populace tries desperately to obtain food for its families. And, as has happened so many times in the past, the civilian witnesses of the so-called riot tell a different tale. Eighty-five year old grandmother Hannah Henry was in line at the food bank, and claims the soldiers had anything but order and liberty on their minds.
"They were laughing! Joking about who they were going to shoot first. It was all a game to them. Those soldiers may not have fired on the crowd before that window got broke, but they was looking forward to it all the same."
One can only hope that the violence in Roxbury will be the last such incident our country has to suffer through. But until America finds the strength to question its domestic policies - and the food to feed its people the future remains uncertain."
- Denver design document
- Fallout Bible 0: "2077 January 22 The first domestic use of Power Armor within the United States for crowd and quarantine control. Units originally serving in China and the Anchorage Front Line find themselves fighting Americans at home. Food riots increase, and many civilians are killed. Several soldiers defect from the military both in Canada and the United States. They are captured, and are sent to military prisons."