MICHAEL'S FACEBOOK POSTS!
Much easier to keep up a running commentary on FaceBook than here on Blogger. I did want to repost this one because it's important. I wrote it in the wake of the San Jose riots, where the police "stood down" so as not to "insight" [their spelling; not mine…I'd say "insight" was damned lacking here] any more rioting:
Speaking from THE BEST DEFENSE's viewpoint, mob violence is a terrifying thing. From my own experience as a "riot reporter" back when I was a Baby Journalist, I was stunned at how fast a "protest" became a "riot" becoming potentially lethal. A personal experience — at the last Weatherman above ground action, the assault on the Vietnamese embassy on Dupont Circle in D.C., it had been billed as a simple protest march. Because even back then I was paranoid, I had my own gas mask and a SHTF bag with me, as I figured it would turn into a riot, which it did. I got caught between "opposing lines," so I dove under an SUV to crawl out of the other side and get clear. My action was hastened when the car in from of the truck I was under took a Molotov cocktail and exploded. You've never seen somebody get out from under a car that fast!
My point is that once the mental balloon goes up and the crowd transitions into the pack mentality we see in the photo, it is only a very short step to lethal danger. You need to be aware of how quickly that transition can take place, and you need to THINK NOW about how you will respond. If you are taken to the ground, at the mercy of kicks from hiking boots or iron-toed work boots, you are screwed. Ditto if you're simply overpowered by the crowd.
What to do? First, be aware of your surroundings. I have seen people literally walk or drive into the middle of a pitched battle between rioters and police, then look up and start shouting, "What's going on?" Don't let that be you. Accept that even those calm "protesters" can turn like a mad dog at the right provocation. Do not engage protestors in arguments! You wouldn't poke a mad dog with a stick, would you? You wouldn't even poke a friendly dog like Newt with a stick.
Secondly, always know where your best, and fallback, exits are, keeping in mind that the mob will tow you along with it. Work yourself toward the edges, or better yet, if you have to be there, STAY on the edges!
Be armed, but be aware that unless you have an MP5 in your SHTF pack, your weapons is not necessarily going to get you out of trouble. Your brain is weapon you need here. DO NOT BRANDISH A WEAPON! That's waving red meat in front of the Khalessi's pet dragons. Instead, think of your weapon as a last ditch tool to buy you enough time to get out of the mob and behind police lines. There's a reason behind every cliche, and certainly "cut and run" comes to mind. Also remember that the police will not know YOU from THEM, and act accordingly. I've been hauled off to jail...it happens, and they've always cut me loose after we've sorted out the what's what/who's who.
Best solution...don't poke the dog with a stick; keep your head in the game; always work toward the edges...or don't be there in the first place!
YOU . ARE . ON . YOUR . OWN!!!