Civilly Disobedient (Calm Act Genesis Book 1)

Civilly Disobedient (Calm Act Genesis Book 1) by Ginger Booth

Book: Civilly Disobedient (Calm Act Genesis Book 1) by Ginger Booth Read Free Book Online
Authors: Ginger Booth
Chapter 1
    Interesting fact: The First Amendment to the United States Constitution said: “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The U.S. had no Constitutional right to privacy, though it was arguably implied by the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable search and seizure. By this time, the United States had been systematically spying on its citizens for years.

    “That’s really insulting,” I murmured to Mangal, my best friend and co-worker. We were both section heads, supervising web development teams with UNC, the Fortune 100 news and infotainment conglomerate in Stamford, Connecticut. Back then, I actually had to commute to work, on the train several hours a day, living my life in a mirrored-glass high-rise cubbyhole farm. I so don’t miss that. Especially not the quarterly meetings for management, like this one.
    “Sh,” Mangal hissed back at me. He had a point. Our boss Dan was frowning at us. I smiled back at Dan vaguely and toyed with my scarf, as though nothing the C-level idiot said was as important as getting my cloth stripes to line up across the European slipknot. Dan and Mangal could probably tell I was seething, but the rest of management didn’t need to know.
    The trick is no trick at all. I really am bothered by failed pattern matches. Bathroom floors with those randomly strewn tiny black and white tiles, drive me nuts. So I looked completely absorbed with adjusting my scarf stripes.
    “So as part of the new loyalty requirement,” the C-level droned on, “all employees are barred from participating in political demonstrations.” He chuckled. “You wouldn’t want to be mistaken for a terrorist.” No one chuckled with him.
    Drat. I found a pulled metallic thread in my scarf, and my employer revoked my Constitutional right to assembly. Not that I’d ever wanted to attend a huge political rally before. I didn’t even like live concerts. Too much traffic. But now I felt a sudden urgent need to take up civil disobedience.
    “We will be monitoring compliance,” the C-level assured us. “I realize some of your employees may object.” That he assumed we managers wouldn’t object, confirmed that the man was an idiot. “But really, it’s for their safety as well as the corporation’s. If one of our people gets tangled in a mess like Boston last week, we’ll be able to alert the police and get our people out of there. Though of course, Boston was a planned demonstration. And UNC employees are no longer permitted to attend those.”
    Oh good, I’d wondered about that. How exactly UNC intended to ensure our safety at the demonstrations we were now forbidden to attend. But fortunately I found a way to scrunch the scarf fabric and tease the gold thread back into place, at least partway.
    Mercifully, the corporate Chief Fascism Officer completed his spiel. The quarterly meeting returned to more pedestrian topics with the updated quarterly progress on TLA targets – three letter acronyms. Possibly of some interest to managers who owned over $100k in stock options, but I’d never yet heard anything worth hearing in this segment of the quarterly bore. Now onto safer topics, I simply snipped off the last of the pulled thread with a scissors from the mending kit in my purse. I was now free to take notes.
    “Phones,” I wrote at the top of my virgin note-taking legal pad. We weren’t allowed to use our phones to take notes during meetings, due to the inevitability that we’d check email, send text messages, and play video games instead of paying attention. UNC issued us our phones with their spyware already installed. I was suggesting that our phones were the primary mechanism for ‘monitoring compliance’ yet again.
    “Mortgage,” Mangal helpfully wrote back. As in, we both owed a lot of money, and this new violation of our liberties wasn’t

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