Surviving a Mob Protest

October 15th, 2011 . by Felix

Social mob protestsThe Occupy Wall Street movement has spread to other states and is now spreading to Europe and Asia. We have seen civil unrest in Egypt and London in the past year. Thanks to social media it has become even easier and quicker to organize a protest. I think we will continue to see more social unrest in the United States and abroad in the years to come. Protests in the past have shown there are large groups of people who don’t even know what they are protesting. For them it is just one big party. An excuse to go wild, break windows, loot, and set fire to things. They really don’t care about the cause. Peaceful protests can quickly get out of hand and local authorities can be overwhelmed in a hurry.

So what happens if you work in a large downtown area and you encounter a protest? What would you do if you were on vacation and you realize your rental car is parked in the middle of a protest? What if you are overseas and the country you are in erupts in violence?

If you travel or work in areas where protests could happen you should take several steps to avoid being caught up in the crowds.

1. You should always be aware of your surroundings. If you know there is going to be a protest at 3pm, then maybe living work early would be a good idea. Cancel your dinner reservation at the restaurant on the street the protesters plan on marching down.

2. Always have a plan to distant yourself as quickly as possible whether you are walking or driving. Stay away from public transportation as much as possible. Now is not the time to get closer to see what all the commotion is about.

3. Know the streets in the area. Know that you can cut through an alley to get to a safer street a block over. Use your phones gps to locate exit strategies. Cut through buildings to get off the streets.

4. Carry a get home bag with supplies that could help you get out of the hot zone to safety. A bottle of water could be valuable to flush out your eyes if you are caught in a tear gas cloud.

5. If you are overseas and see large crowds gathering it may be time to cut your trip short. Stay off the streets and out of the crowds. Local authorities, the military and rebels have all used deadly force. Don’t risk getting shot.

6. Don’t run with crowds, If you fall down you could get trampled. Stay to the edges, duck behind a building or vehicle, get off the street.

7. Don’t try and drive through a crowd, they won’t let you. If you see a crowd coming towards you, back up, turn around, go down the nearest street or alley. Or leave your vehicle and distant yourself as quickly as possible.

Fortunately most protests only occupy a few city blocks. They can be avoided but if caught up in one it should be fairly easy to distant yourself. But as more people take to the streets, social unrest may be a common occurrence in our future and it is best to think about it now and how you will prepare for it.

Wall Street protests go global; riots in Rome
Occupy Wall Street protests go global

 

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