Like I said before, situation can change from good to bad quickly. Especially when people are tired of whats going on. In my country 40% of people have no jobs, widespread corruption, prices are expensive for almost everything. There are now riots in several cities in my region here, spreading all over the country.
I have been in riots before, and also been in riots that lead into the full scale war we had, so there are few things that I want to explain you about riots:
Psychology of riots
Yes, riots have their own psychology, and it is not all about big number of the people as they say, because it is about HOW FAR that group of the people will go (is ready to go).
So you may have some celebration of sport club victory that go wrong and ends with few turned over cars burning, yelling at police and girls showing tits, I am not talking about that kind of riot.
In real riot you must be ready to understand that you do not have friends there in terms of sides, for example if you are there with protesters that do not mean that police is your enemy and other protesters are your friends.
Think like you are alone and everyone is your possible enemy.
I watched same 200 or 300 guys blocking firefighters cars by throwing torches, molotov cocktails and stones on them in order to not let them extinguish fire in a building.
30 minutes later same guys help them put that fire out, then again throwing stones at them shortly after.
It is important to understand crowd behavior. If you have crowd of people without clear mission, simply the moments are important when few guys yell “noooooo” or “yeaaaaaah” and everyone listens to them. This happens in harmless situations like football stadium when crowds chant same songs, but this also happens in bad situations when it comes to fighting and killing.
All it takes for one person is getting attention of the crowd. Most people go with what most people do. Just get 3-4 people join you running towards barricades and soon 20 more follow. I do not recommend you ever try this because if someone else screams you are part of enemy group or whatever and people start believing it, things turn bad for you quickly. Just keep in mind that in chaotic situations with many people someone with a plan can easily make others follow them. This can become helpful if you want to create chaos to get away from situation or similar.
Some people always take advantage of this. When whole crowd is busy running in one direction they do their own business. Opening up cars and stealing things or similar. Some “helpful” guys also empty pockets of wounded people in riots to “identify them”. It is all possible because people’s attention is somewhere else.
“A riot is language of the unheard”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Of course I agree with this, but please keep in mind that riot is sometimes also language of those who do not have anything smart to say.
When you go out to join riots be ready that huge number of your fellow rioters will be there for different reasons then you. So it is good to make some difference between them. For example:
They enjoy violence
Yep, number of people are just waiting for their chance to be violent, hurt and destroy. For them it is not important why they do that, and they do not have sides, so be ready that they can do some violence to you too. Many of them are in frenzy and they come in groups.
They are curious
People want to see “what that is happening over there?” so they will be there without reason, they just stand there to see something interesting, take some photo or similar.
They want to “change” things
Yes, there are people who are thinking that they will change something with rioting, and funny but from my experience their number is usually low.
They want to “acquire” things (steal)
Rioting is great opportunity to get some stuff. I am not suggesting anything, I am just saying how things are. Everybody chooses for himself. In one city government building got burned down and guess what happened as well? Supermarket next door got looted.
They want to become “leaders”
From my experience I am very cautious about the people who are taking the lead in the middle of rioting. It may be only me but they often have different agenda from the obvious. I am talking about real violent riots. Openly they are these “for the cause” of course, but more often than not, turns out they are the first people who start looting with small group of friends, while crowd is fighting police.
All this sounds interesting maybe and that is why many people go to riots. To see what’s going on or get adrenaline kick. Especially when you suspect things can turn bad, SHTF, then avoid being curious and do not go.
If you go make sure you watch from good distance for some time to understand “the game”. Watch how crowds move, where they retreat to and think always about additional ways to get out of chaos.
You better have good reasons to be part of riots. Forget about dreams of being leader, or fighting for someone else’s cause. We as survivalists have to be smarter than that. If you are sure that the riots will lead to end of law and order and this is the last time you can secure important resources, decision to stay away from all this is much harder.
If you are member of my online course you know how important alcohol that we secured from factory after all hell broke lose was for the months that came after. So for these situations there are no clear answers.
If you have interesting experiences with crowds and violence, please share in comments. For me personally, I spend time with family away from any city in coming days.