The suspension of normal civil law and its replacement by strict military control.
Imposed during crises, emergencies or civil unrest.
Military rules ALL.
suspension of rights and freedoms
Martial Law can be recognized by the increased presence of men with plexiglass shields and/or sub-machine-guns, a pale green fog that tastes, smells and feels like burning, random acts of hippy clubbing and indiscriminate shooting into crowds.
If your going to "get your loot on" its best to do it during the Preceding state of emergency, because once Martial Law is declared, the party's over. Usually once Martial Law is declared, its best to just stay home, tune into your local state-owned media outlet and do what they say. The punishment for most criminal offenses becomes summary execution, and most of the things you might do out in public become criminal offenses.
Looting = criminal offense = shot on sight
Exercising freedom of speech= criminal offense= disappeared (shot out of sight)
looking like you might be a 'rebel' = criminal offense = a. shot on sight or b. disappeared
On the street after curfew = criminal offense = shot on sight
Looking at the officer the wrong way = criminal offense = shot on sight
If you must go out, try not to wear that 'Rage Against the Machine' tee-shirt, red stars, or clenched-fist logos, as these may attract unwanted bursts of well-aimed fire in your direction.
Remember that meeting you went to back in college? Where the guy at the front was talking about "property is theft" this, and "smash the state" that? Which you attended just so you could meet that cute outspoken Alternachick from your poli-sci class? Well, I hope she put out because thats the reason you have to agents beating on you with a phone book, trying to get a confession out of you... in the washroom of a stadium-turned-detention center. Was she worth it? (tip: just confess, the electrodes are next and a tap to the back of the head hurts less).
If there is excessive violence and civil disorder in a certain place that the police are unable to cope with, the governor or president or mayor, may call for the national guard or army to quell the disturbances. The military usually declares a state of martial law. In this situation, a curfew is put in place, looters may be shot on sight if need be. Break the military law and you will be tried by a military court in most cases. This is a most extreme solution to an insurrection or revolution.