Owensford also sees clear signs of an incipient riot:
a quasi-uniform of crash helmets and gloves;
solid hardwood staves on placards;
Are all demonstrations incipient riots? No. Is this one? Yes. The reader already knows that the protest movement is cynically manipulated by conspirators who use terrorism and who deliberately spread (what they know to be) disinformation. The scene is set for a military clash between mercs led by Owensford and those whose aim is not the public good but mere regime change.
We have already enjoyed military sf by Anderson, Pournelle and Stirling so now we check out Pournelle & Stirling.