The chapter begins with Vance witnessing a police officer holding a person at gunpoint and he begins to repeat the word "no" over and over again while running away from the site of the protests. As he runs away and down an alley, he laments the way things have turned out and, against a backdrop of increasingly violent acts of police brutality, wonders if all this violence is what democracy looks like and comes to think this isn't the revolution they were fighting for. As the unknown person that was being held at gunpoint is shot at, Vance metaphorically asks Frey "is this the revolution you were fighting for?" before the words get censored away and we are shown an access denied page by Solar Eye.
Many of the protest signs were taken directly from real ones. I was very awed by all the creative signs I saw when I participated in the occupy protests.
The inspiration for the line of riot police came from my own encounters with them during a Free Bradley Manning protest near my university [UC Berkeley]. We disbanded before real conflict borke out, but the imagery stayed vivid in my mind.
The infamous Pepper Spray Cop meme was incorporated into this scene.
I have friends at UCDavis so the police brutality was very painful to see. At the same time, my fellow UC Berkeley students and professors were being beaten by the police as well. This happened a few hours after I left the protest. A class was canceled because a professor had to be hospitalized.
Even more violent clashes occurred in the neighboring city of Oakland. But nothing in American can truly compare with the brutality faced by protesters in the Arab Spring.
The censored website design is taken from screen captures presented by Jacob Appelbaum when he gave a talk about how to use TOR to get over firewalls in various countries.
The cartoon cop is a parody of the Chinese internet police cartoons that was used to remind netizens that they are being watched and shouldn't post anything controversial.
The phrase "very violent/ and or very erotic" is a parody of 很黄很暴力. A phrase the Chinese government used on TV to convince the citizens that the extensive internet censorship is to protect children against porn and violence. The obvious propaganda was ridiculed by netizens and became a meme.