The Marche du Nain Rouge

The Marche Du Nain Rouge Parade at Cass Park, Detroit

When it happened: Noonish on March 26th, 2017 (Crescent to New)

  • The Official Story: The event picks up the moniker “the Cass Park Attack.” The Chief of Police briefs the media three hours after, with vague answers and little information, primarily to soothe public concerns. The death toll comes to 13, with 50 more serious injuries. The following day several competing narratives form:

    • The police investigation begins as a terrorism investigation, blaming the bulk of the casualties on an incendiary device. The bomb story is complicated by reports of fighting and personal violence immediately before the blast. As the timeline gets muddied with evidence of an animal attack, the police clam up and cloister their detectives with state and federal experts.

    • An ISIS spokesperson claims the attack six hours after the first reports, a claim contested by a handful of other groups and debated fiercely by television terror experts.  

    • Two Muslim men are detained as possible suspects for half a day, but early tensions between Detroit authorities and Homeland Security grind that part of the investigation to a halt. One of the men is fatally shot after his release, by a neighbor who knew him. Further investigation clears both men, but their mosques (and others) still see vandalism.

    • Many of the street kids and homeless recognized “the Juggalos” as having a big part. The clearer-headed ones say a clique of them drew their hatchets and rushed someone in the parade immediately before things got out of hand. A few recognized the event as a werewolf attack, but no one made that point to the press or police, and downplayed Juggalo involvement to avoid retaliation.

    • More than a few people with concealed-carry were on hand for the event. Two men drew their guns in the commotion, and shots were fired, but both men were found among the dead, and no gunshot wounds were reported among the casualties, though some slugs were recovered from nearby buildings and vehicles.

    • Evidence of an explosion was found. The blast seemed to have come from a truck pulling a float. The float itself had a licensed and professionally-made pyrotechnics element, and its fuel stores were also ignited, though no detonation resulted. Explosive experts could not conclusively say whether or not the fuel tank was rigged to explode, but at the same time, an accidental blast seems improbable. The truck driver died in the blast as well, and conspiracy theorists claim contacts with both radical Islamic and right-wing terrorists.

    • The stampede afterwards caused resulted in almost as many casualties. While the police seem to believe the panic was within expected parameters, paramedics early on the scene reported bizarre behavior not commonly seen in similar events. The reticence of the police and the extreme examples of psychosis snowball into a widely held suspicion that a nonlethal weapon was deployed before or after the event. 

    • Finally, given the celebration, many Detroiters blame the Nain Rouge, or at least the festival organizers. The serious believers, and there are quite a few, believe the Marche antagonized him, and demand that he be appeased before he lets worse happen to the city. Oddly enough, these people outnumber the police conspiracy theorists, though individually the specific reasons for the Nain Rouge’s anger are varied. Some adapt his anger to fit their Islamophobia, others blame it on Detroit’s elites and the city’s sorry shape. A “counter-Marche” is organized the following weekend, but is denied a permit, and the few who attempted to march anyway meet with riot police. Some people are arrested, and quickly fall into the police conspiracy camp instead.

    • What followed: Anti-Islamic sentiment spikes sharply in the aftermath, and two mosques in the metropolitan areas get attacked. Several violent hate crimes are reported too. On the flipside, the vague and unsatisfying explanations from the government and media spark many conspiracy theories. Of the non-Islamophobic theories, two gain large followings. The first and more popular is that the attack was in fact some right-wing militia attack, that got false flagged by complicit police. The second is that the incident was that the police on hand at Cass Park had used some experimental chemical weapon as a form of crowd control; more specifically, that there was a unit malfunction and it leaked prematurely. No official statement contradicts either theory.

The Marche du Nain Rouge

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