Todays post is written by my friend, Ed, on what to do if you are caught in a flash mob or surprise protest while driving.
You are driving with your family in a rented car in a foreign country on vacation. You make a wrong turn and find your vehicle and other cars around you swarmed by demonstrators. Car windows start being broken out and down the block you see Molotov’s being thrown.
What do you do? If you just hit the gas and run folks over, depending on ground clearance of your vehicle you will move only a short distance before getting high centered on bodies. Then you are surrounded by a large group of hostiles you have made angry. Not good.
As proven by the massive London riots of 2011, civil unrest turned terribly violent can happen in any country, from first world to undeveloped nations.
If you think you are Jack Bauer and are going to shoot your way out then you better have a lot of ammo to keep them dispersed until the swarm becomes disillusioned and moves on or is driven off by your suppressive fire. And that would have to be sustained 360 degree fire, by the way.
The point is, these types of situations can rapidly turn into a Blackhawk Down scenario. The movie details a very dangerous, complicated tactical problem even for trained and equipped military personnel. Civilians are hardly ready to survive a mob intent on violence just to avoid dying where they stand.
There are numerous videos on YouTube showing motorists smashing through crowds. One car stopped and was swarmed after doing that and was violently descended on. Driver finally just hit the gas and rolled over one “protester.” You say it can’t happen here, think again. Last night, Black Lives Mattter blocked the 405 Freeway near Los Angeles. It’s reported that LAPD declined to deal with this issue and drivers were left on their own until the crowd dispersed more than an hour later.
The most disturbing aspect of these protests or flash mobs is that they are NOT spontaneous, but are planned and orchestrated. Since Ferguson and Baltimore, local police are becoming more and more wary of any forceful intervention. The media is warping the news to fit an agenda. This means that citizens are on their own.
You are totally responsible for your own safety.
You must be situationally aware and avoid large gatherings. One of the best books I’ve come across that teaches this type of mental awareness is Left of Bang . Monitor current events constantly to avoid being caught in a freeway or street intersection closure. I have been through this before and it’s an unpleasant sense of déjà vu.
Social media allows these groups to organize inside the police OODA loop, and just disburse before law enforcement can react. When they do respond, everyone has a smart phone with a camera now, and everything ends up on Facebook. It’s just ratchets up the mob behavior and manufactured rage even further. These events are being orchestrated across the country, and I believe things are going to get a lot worse as the election gets closer, because people with an agenda want to influence the outcome. So y’all stay aware and be safe out there!
By the way, watch this and then tell me again how you’re going to just run over people and, “that’s what gas pedals are for.”
How would you deal with a flash mob? Best response is DON’T be there!
Flash mobs can form quickly, you might not have sufficient warning.
If caught in your car at the road closure… keep moving through…… slowly but steadily …gently tap the horn, don’t blast, just frequent little beeps and keep rolling. Once you quit moving you are done….. If you see it ahead down the road……get off on to the shoulder and reverse…. and get out of the area.
UPDATE from Noah: One of my concerns in this scenario is my young kids. They would be absolutely terrified if the protest became violent. I would make sure they were in the back seat, would turn on some music or a story CD, give them a snack — anything to keep them calm. As a dad, it would be very hard to think clearly and rationally if my kids were crying and panicking. That said, if I was trapped for the duration, I’d contact my wife and anyone else in the “need to know” category, sit back, and just wait it out. Staying up to date with scheduled protests is the smartest move — don’t be where the trouble is. (I teach that to my kids all the time!)