Archive for December, 2014

Winchester Christmas Tree Lighting Sparks Religious Riot

Friday, December 26th, 2014

As the City and downtown businesses continue to rebuild, authorities are continuing to investigate the riots which occurred earlier this month. A number of Old Town businesses suffered superficial damages, from broken windows to graffiti, but are expected to be back to business as normal in time for First Friday next week.

The Winchester Annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony quickly turned from a peaceful holiday event to a religious riot, involving an estimated 700 people. City police arrived on the scene after reports of gunfire, gaining control of the scene just before midnight.

Ninety-three people with injuries were reported, with four fatalities. Arrests have been made, including a number of members of the Fellowship Renewal Church. Representatives of the church have responded that their brothers and sisters were defending the sanctity of the holiday against ‘dark forces’, and have donated considerable amounts of money to cover medical expenses of many of the victims.

Beyond the harm to its citizens and business, this event is another black mark on the reputation of the colonial era city which is desperate to develop new commercial and industrial business as it struggles in the 21st Century.