Originally uploaded by dpriddy.
The Providence Journal (registration required) reports that a massive brawl erupted in downtown Providence on Thursday, when a startingly large number of high school students clashed in Kennedy Plaza. A mob of what police estimated to be as many as 300 high school students, some armed with rocks and bottles, were making their way up to College Hill before being dispersed by the police. 8 of the students were arrested, and the rest apparently scattered after the police arrived. What the hell could possibly have sparked this riot? Geographic rivalry? Insane. I'm amazed that the state police didn't show up en masse in riot gear to quell this disturbance, especially since Kennedy Plaza is in the heart of the business district.
Hope high school is, hands down, the worst high school in the state, and it is currently administered by a triumvirate instead of a single principal. I suppose someone thought it would be an even better idea to get two more people involved instead of finding one extremely competent administrator. That's just how city governments in Rhode Island work. Doubtlessly, there will be a million police downtown tomorrow when school gets out. It's also a safe bet to predict that, in an effort to avoid antagonizing "community leaders", the Providence police department will let this violent fracas slide and opt for "further dialogue" with Hope students and whatever authority figures around that are passing for their parents instead of sending the little thugs through the judicial system. Call me a cynic, but that's the approach we seem to always take here in the bluest city in the bluest little state in the union.