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Tactics and equipment required for a successful and peaceful protest march

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posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 02:20 PM
Observing the events in the ME and elsewhere it occurs to me that too little thought has been given to protest tactics to ensure minimum casualties on both sides, so I'll share my thoughts on the matter for whatever it is worth.

Since the physical objective of most protests seems to be to get a mass of people from assembly areas to a particular protest site, and the objective of the police is to prevent the mass from arriving there, what I will focus on is how to get from point A to point B.

A protest mass can be defined spatially and functionally.

Spatially there is the front line that actually meets the police line, the flanks that brush against buildings, and the interior mass that provides forward momentum and resistance to pushback.

Functionally you need the wall in front to a depth of 3 or 4 people. Behind the wall you need cheerleaders to provide encouragement and replacements for the wall. Everyone on the wall should be equipped with a sheild similar to what riot police use, but with a curved extension that prevent head blows, and allows water deflection. The shields should be modified to allow them to hook together to form a solid wall that can be pushed into the opposing mass.

Scattered behind the wall spotters and communicators are required in pairs. The spotters should be as tall as you can find them so they can see above the heads of the crowd and relay what they see to the communicators equipped with radios (walkie-talkies, not cellphones), who should be very short. This combination would make it more difficult for police to spot and neutralize the communicators.

Also scattered throughout the crowd should be 4-person tear gas neutralization teams equipped with swimming goggles, face scarves, fireproof gloves, radios, and two five gallon buckets, one empty and one filled with sand.

When the spotters see the police preparing to fire tear gas, they alert the neutralizers, warning them of wind direction and point of attack. When the canisters fall the scooper with fireproof gloves should grab the canister and drop into the empty bucket and then pour the sand over it to smother it...a cap for the bucket would help. Once covered it can be ferried to the edges or rear and disposed of safely.

Flankers should be equipped like the wall and extend about 50' to 100' back along the sides to a depth of 2 people. Their role is twofold: prevention of flank attacks and crowd control to keep the more aggressive members from looting or smashing things up unnecessarily.

Medical teams of first-aid providers and evacuators should be located near the center and rear equipped with radios and medical necessities.

A crowd organized in this manner would be very difficult to stop, yet would not be aggressively fighting the police. Any violence that occurred would be on the heads of the police, diminishing support for them.

This isn't a cureall, by any means, but it seems to me fairly easily accomplished and better than the inchoate masses pushing into bloody confrontation without organization.

Improvements, anyone?

posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 02:28 PM
Seems well thought out. Now you just need the people. If you get this up and running, u2u me. I would be interested.

posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 02:37 PM
Show me what protests around the world that have been peaceful. Peaceful protests aren't going to get anything done. Look at Egypt.
edit on 31-1-2011 by Bonified Ween because: (no reason given)

edit on 31-1-2011 by Bonified Ween because: bad grammmur

posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 02:42 PM
reply to post by Bonified Ween

Peaceful is a relative term.

The Egyptian protests seem quite peaceful, all things considered; not much shooting or fighting actually, despite the killings. It could be far worse.

In any case, a protest organized as I've outlined would seem able to accomplish its purpose with a minimum of casualties.

posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 06:03 PM
reply to post by apacheman

I hate to sound like the turd in the punchbowl but...

I would wager the reason the protests in Egypt are providing leverage is the threat of violence. Think about it. When did the last protests in the US occur to change anything? The Civil Rights era maybe? There were many instances of violence in between some peaceful moments. It gave people pause. It demonstrated how serious it was.

No one wants to get anybody killed but if there is no harm to anyone or anything, who cares? TPTB do not give a damn about 1, 100, or 1 million people marching anywhere if it is business as usual the next day. When has a peaceful demonstration in DC the last few years changed anything?

I applaud your well thought out plan. Indeed if applied as you describe, no one should risk serious injury. In my opinion, the folks in Egypt are past that point. The folks in Tunisia as well. Apparently they feel their situation requires a greater risk to improve things. The US State Department is truly concerned about it.

When was the last time a peaceful march received that kind of attention? I only mention this because you used the words "successful" in your title. If a march/protest does not change anything, what is the point?

posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 07:17 PM
reply to post by ABNARTY

Perhaps I was mentally defining "successful" too narrowly, you have good points.

I was thinking tactically while laying this out, and from a tactical point of view, success is defined as reaching the point you are heading for as a coherent whole despite any attempts to prevent it.

From a strategic point of view, once there, the goal would be to shut down access to the area until your demands are addressed in an acceptable manner. Stopping normal commerce can be quite effective. That means once you're there, wherever there might be, you have to stay for as long as necessary to achieve your goals.

For instance, what if a few thousand ( or tens of thousands) folks flooded New York's financial district and prevented the financiers from either coming or going? Of course, that means sacrifice, hunger, and discomfort, but with sufficient logistical planning, that can be ameliorated to a small extent. Water, portapotties, and food, in that order of priority, are required to sustain the position. also a method to reinforce and resupply the original group.

Strategically speaking, you have to select a there that is crucial to the functioning of a particular industry, governmental organ, or city. It all depends on what the problem is in the first place what you target. but once selected, it must be attained and held long enough to cause severe discomfort to the target. That means from a strategic point of view you actually need two masses, the first to take, and the second to resupply, the second would be pretty much the same as the first, but each member of the second would be carrying backpacks filled with the necessary supplies.

If the correct target is selected, TPTB will either cave or overreact, either of which outcomes is acceptable (again strategically speaking). If they cave, you're done with the beginning of the process and can move on to the next step.

If they overreact and send in the tanks, then public opinion can be swayed against them (costly in lives and injuries, perhaps, but no-win for them). If the protest group stands strong and simply parts and allows the first few tanks through, then closes behind them to prevent any ground support (infantry, foot police) to support the vehicles, the tankers will get extremely nervous about being isolated, and more amenable to discussion, if that discussion is non-threatening. Tanks or other vehicles surrounded by a mass of people are far more vulnerable than you might think: every air-breathing engine requires an intake and an exhaust, plugging either will kill the engine. A tank with a dead engine is pretty much a dead duck. If the crew chooses to fire, they would be swarmed. In that scenario, spray paint would be an extremely effective weapon against tanks: spray the viewports and it is not only stalled but blind as well. As any tanker you might know and ask how they'd feel stuck in a crowd blinded and stalled.

This tactic supposes a reluctance on the tankers' part to kill, a fairly safe bet when you're dealing with the military most times. Police would be different, they are far more trigger-happy and willing to kill citizens, and would have to be handled more ruthlessly if they showed any aggression.

So I guess an anti-tank team would consist of about 5 or 6 people equipped with rags, quickset industrial glue, spray paint, and heavy-duty cojones. The rags and glue would be stuffed into any openings, and the glue poured over every hatch, and the spray paint on every porthole. Against wheeled vehicles you'd need caltrops in addition to the other gear; although most police vehicles are equipped with run-flat tires, the caltrops might disable a few, and are easily hidden. Hmmmm, just thinking out loud here.... a strong lever crew would be handy, too: you'd need something that was strong, quickly assemble...perhaps pipe sections connected by inserting smaller pipes into bigger ones to hold them together, and something to act as a fulcrum, acouple of those long enough would enable a crowd to flip wheeled vehicles on their sides, or high enough to jam blocks under the chassis and keep the wheels off the ground.

posted on Feb, 1 2011 @ 04:51 PM
reply to post by apacheman it. Makes sense now. I agree shutting down a given area until demands are met makes the it worthwhile and a viable tool.

I have a question from someone who has never been to a protest. For a gathering, protest, march, rally, etc. I understand you need to apply for a permit. Is this correct? Are any of the stipulations of that permit, the group will not interfere with traffic, business, the public in general, etc?

If it is, it almost seems like the whole concept of peaceful protest is designed to pay lip service to the voice of the people but in reality is nothing more that keeping it at arms length. "the right to peaceful demonstration" just sounds like being brushed off in disguise.

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