Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Notes On Civil Disorder


Photo courtesy Flickr user Curtis Cron

Wherever one stands on the issues, the following comments are relevant. They represent a few hard-earned info-nuggets from a survivor of the Sixties. Consult your friendly local security expert for informed suggestions about how to behave.

When you are part of a crowd, you become part of a large and unpredictable organism. If a crowd is unavoidable, expect to be photographed. Assume that provocateurs will attempt to escalate a peaceful confrontation and that behaviors will become unstable as fatigue, hunger, and dehydration take effect. NEVER RUN FROM THE POLICE. Move slowly and carefully in the presence of an officer. Keep both your hands in plain sight. The community of the non-violent suggests that if you are attacked, you should drop to the ground, assume the fetal position, and cover the back of your head and neck with both arms.

Push a dumpster out of sight and wet the contents so it cannot be set on fire. Lock the wheels with a bike lock. Remove things that can be thrown, like rocks and bottles. Check your fire extinguisher and hose. To gain an appreciation of what is at stake during a demonstration, read your insurance policy. Do not draw attention to yourself. LEAVE THE LIGHTS OFF when you look out the window. If you hear gunfire, East Bay folk wisdom recommends crawling into the bathtub. Adding water will cushion the impact of a bullet.

Have an exit plan and a safe haven. Park the car at a reasonable distance with the hood pointed in the direction you intend to travel. Sedate pets. If you leave the house, Email a friend with your intentions.

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