Prepping for Riots & Civil Unrest – 10 Tips

Ferguson Response NetworkAs the mainstream media positively salivates over the anticipated civil unrest and rioting that’s expected following the release of the dual Grand Jury investigation and Department of Justice investigations that are expected to exonerate Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, a teenager of African decent we thought it might be a good idea to review tips on prepping for riots and civil unrest.  According to a knowledgeable multi-juristictional law enforcement analyst the law enforcement community is more concerned about the aftermath of the Ferguson shooting information release than any event since 9/11.

A riot or period of riots/civil unrest is best avoided and the Prepping for Riots and Civil Unrest tips below should help you avoid or if necessary safely escape a dangerous situation.

  1. Avoid:  Riots and protests that could easily become riots are often organized on social media including sites like this one currently being used to organize protests and riots following the release of the results of the Grand Jury investigation into the acts of Officer Wilson.  Sites like these tell you where and in some cases when ‘actions’ will occur.  They tell me what parts of town to avoid like the plague.  If you find yourself in a mob, avoid confrontation…don’t argue, verbally engage or negotiate.
  2. Know What Time It Is:  Many planned riots and protests that could easily become riots happen in the first few hours and days after the precipitating event.  Keep an eye on breaking news that could trigger a riot and go out of your way to return to safe areas or stay out of danger areas entirely if there is a potential precipitating event or planned release of information like the Officer Wilson Grand Jury and Department of Justice investigation results.
  3. Stay Calm:  Keep a calm, clear head and don’t get emotionally involved and compromise your decision making skills.  Mob mentality really exists but you must its lure even if you are sympathetic to the precipitating cause or excuse for the violence.
  4. Move Carefully but Decisively:  By staying calm you’ll be less likely to move quickly or rashly.  You want to keep your footing and avoid falling to the ground at all costs where you are in danger of being trampled, kicked or worse.  Move with intention through the crowd with a stern look on your face…don’t stop just continue moving and gently force your way through to safety.  One technique that works well with crowds that haven’t turned violent yet is shouting “make a hole, coming through…” as if you own the place…people will just move out of your way and continue on their business.
  5. Fade Away:  If you find yourself in the middle of a crowd that might get ugly get away immediately and quietly before a problem starts.  Move to the outer edge of the mob and fade away into a side street.  I was backpacking through Europe in the mid 1980s and stopped over in West Berlin (when there was such a place) for a few days and found myself drawn to what I thought was a street fair and parade.  After just a few short minutes I realized that I’d walked right into the middle of an anti-American protest complete with effigies of President Reagan being burned and lots of anti-nuclear propaganda being given out (it later came out that the Soviets organized and financed these types of protests in West Germany for decades)…anyway, as soon as I realized what was going on I silently pointed it out to my buddy so no one could hear my language and accent and we moved our bluejean (not something Europeans wore in those days) wearing asses down the nearest side street and outside of the danger area.  I didn’t know that it would turn violent but I wasn’t going to take the chance and the riot police on hand were conscripts from the same population that generated the protesters.  Reports I’ve read over the years indicate that if just 1-2% of a crowd turns violent then there is a potential for mob mentality to set in…become the grey man and fade away.  Don’t overlook the possibility of moving through a building if necessary but be very careful to avoid getting cornered or stuck.
  6. Strategic Relocation:  One thing I quickly noticed while living in Baghdad in 2006-2007 was that the same neighborhoods seemed to erupt in violence over and over…and I’m talking about Iraqi on Iraqi violence…turns out these were the neighborhoods on where Sunni and Shia neighborhoods met.  If you find yourself living in an area that’s a demographic fractional divide…find a way to move someplace safer.
  7. Don’t Lose Your Life With Your Property:  There are wonderful stories of business owners of Korean descent putting on a show of force outside and on the roofs of their stores to deter looting during the 1992 LA Riots but I’d be very cautious about trading my life for my property because in the end you may lose both.  This caution assumes that the property you lose only represents a financial loss and doesn’t represent you or your family’s best chances of survival.
  8. Be a Voice Of Reason:  The best way to keep riots from starting in the first place is to multiply those willing to act as the voice of reason.  Become that voice of reason in your community by encouraging adherence to the rule of law and oppose extra-jurisdictional killings, lynchings, ‘payback’ activities and post sports championship winning car burnings.
  9. Employ Camouflage:  If possible look like the group you find yourself within until you escape the immediate area at which point your camouflage might make you a target for rival groups or police.  When I found myself in that situation in West Berlin I really stood out in my American blue jeans.  Rearrange your clothing, add or remove a cap or pick up discarded items in order to look as much like the folks you want to ignore you as possible.
  10. Keep Together:  Don’t allow your group to get separated.  In dense crowds one technique to stay together is to hold hands or place a hand on the person in front’s shoulder and follow the leader very closely until you’ve reached safety.

I hope you never find yourself in a riot but if you do…I hope Prepping For Riots & Civil Unrest helps get you out safely.

Welfare Running Out Of Money – Today’s Quote

We are always hearing about how Social Security is going to run out of money.

How come we never hear about Welfare running out of money?

The Prepper Investment Guru (P.I.G.)

Andrew’s Note:  My buddy P.I.G., The Prepper Investment Guru recently sent me this thought…and whodathunkit…but it happened in at least a few states earlier this week when a computer glitch shut down the E.B.T. (Electronic Benefit Transfer) card system.  A related glitch actually removed the charging cap at other stores and led to a massive spending spree by some welfare recipients who found that they no longer had a spending cap.  God help us on the day that this entire ‘entitlement’ system suddenly crashes hard or shuts down for good because the only thing scarier than an zombie apocalypse is an E.B.T. riot…come to think about it, it might be hard to tell the difference.

The Durants on Savagery and Civilization – Today’s Quote

Civilization is not inherited; it has to be learned and earned by each generation anew; if the transmission should be interrupted for one century, civilization would die, and we should be savages again.

Will & Ariel Durant

Middle East Escalation in a Dangerous World

The news reports have been particularly troubling lately especially considering our increasingly dangerous world.  It almost makes you long for the stability of the Cold War and Détente.  Here are a couple of examples out of the Middle East.

An apparent Israeli incursion into Syria…

Israel must defend itself but now we’re mixing Israel, Hezbollah, Iran, U.S. interests, European interests, Russian interests and the rest of the world interested to boot.  Complicate that by having Persian, Shia’, Iran assisting Sunni, Arab (Ba’ath Party) Syria and the situation gets very volatile.  Oil supplies are in jeopardy, there’s risk of violence escalating generally throughout the region and one of Israel’s other neighbors (Egypt) is being run by the Muslim Brotherhood…where there’s rioting in the streets.

Conflicting accounts emerged Wednesday over an apparent Israeli airstrike inside Syrian territory earlier in the day—with several regional and Western officials saying Israeli jets had struck a convoy of trucks carrying arms near the Lebanon-Syria border, while Syria’s state media described an Israeli strike on a military facility near Damascus.

via Syria Says Israel Struck Military Site, as Accounts Diverge – WSJ.com.

Iranian response for an attack on Syria?

Issuing Tehran’s strongest warning to date, a top Iranian official said Saturday that any attack on Syria would be deemed an attack on Iran, a sign that it will do all it can to protect embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Ali Akbar Velayati, an aide to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, made his comments as Syrian troops conducted offensive air raids against rebels and discovered a trio of tunnels they were using to smuggle weapons in their fight to topple Assad.

via News from The Associated Press

Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Chicago, Libya, Mali, Philippines, oh my it’s a dangerous world!  Are you prepared for this dangerous world?

Shadow Globalization – Bazaars of Violence

Andrew’s Note: Today we return to our crystal ball…or at least the closest thing that the Department of Defense (DOD) has to it…namely the Joint Operating Environment (JOE) 2010. The JOE is the DOD’s keystone document used to project the world in which it will operate up to 25 years into the future.  As I’ve mentioned previously, it’s a sobering read for the prepper and likely to turn the non-prepper into one.  The following is excerpted from PART IV: THE IMPLICATIONS FOR THE JOINT FORCE, War in the 21st Century.  Links have been inserted by me to provide additional reading for context.  Read on to learn what the Department of Defense thinks about Shadow Globalization: “Bazaars of Violence”:

Shadow Globalization: “Bazaars of Violence”

The globalization of trade, finance, and human travel across international boundaries in the commercial world has an analogous dark side as well.  Criminal and terrorist networks are intermingling to construct their own “shadow globalization,” building micro markets, and trade and financial networks that will enable them to coordinate nefarious activities on a global scale. The ubiquity and ease of access to these markets outside of legal structures attract shadow financing from a much larger pool, irrespective of geography.  In these markets, rates of innovation in tactics, capabilities, and information sharing will accelerate and will enable virtual organizational structures that quickly coalesce, plan, attack, and dissolve.  As they grow, these markets will allow adversaries to generate attacks at a higher level of rapidity and sophistication beyond law enforcement’s capability to interdict. For example, we have seen Somali pirates hiring indigenous spotters to identify ships leaving foreign harbors as prime targets for hijackings. We should expect shadow globalization to encourage this outsourcing of criminality to interface increasingly with insurgencies, such that actors in local conflicts will impact on a global scale, with perhaps hundreds of groups and thousands of participants.

The line between insurgency and organized crime will likely continue to blur. This convergence can already be seen in the connections between the FARC and cocaine trafficking, MEND and stolen oil, and the Taliban and opium production. This convergence means that funding for violent conflicts will interplay and abet the growth of global gray and black markets. The current size of these markets is already $2-3 trillion and is growing faster than legal commercial trade; it has the potential to equal a third of global GDP by 2020.    (more…)

Required Reading – When the Music Stops – How America’s Cities May Explode In Violence

In yesterday’s article, Roger Reality discussed Preparing For The National Debt-saster.  Author and former Navy SEAL, Matt Bracken in his article “When the Music Stops – How America’s Cities May Explode In Violence” provides us with an example of how civil unrest could result from the government’s inability to pay the entitlements that many have come to expect.  His excellent analysis matches what we’ve seen in other multi-cultural societies when times get tough, people ‘gang’ up with those of similar ethnicity, religion, social standing, etc. and it becomes ‘us’ versus ‘them.’ Yugoslavia and Iraq are two great examples where multi-cultural societies lived peacefully with each other for decades (as long as you weren’t Kurdish in Iraq), intermarried, worked together, etc…then when a situation or faction lights the fuse everyone runs to their racial/religious/social corners…gets together and comes out fighting.

If anything I think that Bracken’s article understates the dangers represented from rioting groups who will have many of their own veterans of conflict as well as the potential for manipulation by criminal organizations (street gangs, motorcycle gangs, etc.).  There are an estimated 1.4 million gang members in the U.S.

His article should be required reading for every prepper.  Check it out at When the Music Stops – How America’s Cities May Explode In Violence.

Bartlett on Civil Unrest – Today’s Quote

There are a number of events that could create a situation in the cities where civil unrest would be a very high probability…and I think that those who can and those who understand need to take advantage of the opportunity when these winds of strife are not blowing, to move their families.

Rep Roscoe Bartlett

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