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Self-defense 101: How to survive civil unrest
By Zoey Sky // Sep 06, 2022

If you live in a quiet suburb, civil unrest may be the last thing on your mind.


But things can go south very quickly without warning, so you need to know how to protect yourself when SHTF and you're forced to deal with civil unrest. (h/t to TheSurvivalMom.com)

Angry groups are gathering more often to protest perceived injustice, failure of leadership, financial malpractice by the government and banks and almost any unpopular decision made by a governing body.

Riots and mobs are common in second and third-world countries. However, events like these have increased even in first-world countries like America in the past few years.

What is civil unrest?

Civil disorder is defined as "any public disturbance involving acts of violence by assemblages of three or more persons, which causes an immediate danger of or results in damage or injury to the property or person of any other individual."

In America, a citizens' protest is protected by the Bill of Rights' First Amendment – the freedom of speech, the right to assemble peaceably and the right to petition the government with grievances.

What causes civil unrest and mob behavior?

Even the people you think you know well may be unpredictable. The larger the group, the lower the overall IQ.

Protests and demonstrations also tend to increase the "cloak of anonymity" people think they have. This then makes them more likely to do what they have always wanted to do but could not due to the fear of being identified and reprimanded.

Many of these groups are made up of bullies who would never dare face a police officer on their own. But when they join a larger group, it's as if they become emboldened to do things they would never do if they were alone.

Mobs of people also adjust their behavior to match those around them. Proof of this exists in photos or videos of riots where one person may look at others around him and yells louder and gets angrier as others around him do the same.

It is the mob, not the individual, who is in control most of the time.

Can you count on law enforcement during riots?

While it may be your instinct as a civilian to seek help from law enforcement, you are on your own if you are caught in a riot or other violent demonstration.

While police and other law enforcement departments have plans for dealing with angry mobs, they don't always have plans for rescuing you if you are caught in one.

This highlights the need to have a plan before SHTF so you can get to safety without relying on others during a riot. You don't need to be armed to the teeth to fight off 50 or 100 people; you just need to know what to do and where to go so you can stay safe and escape.

When a crowd of people becomes more violent, the police will eventually be called in. When police officers arrive, a trained group of "riot police" will be among them.

Riot police are trained to respond to violent civil unrest. They are trained to work as a group and may often show no emotion.

In the front line are the officers who will directly confront individuals if they resist. Riot police are armed with different weapons that they will use as needed like batons, rubber, plastic and wood bullets, rounds of bean bags and tear gas.

But riot police aren't focused on attacking. Rather, they will prioritize moving the protesters to another location. Remember that riot police aren't there to shield or lead you to safety.

Tips to survive civil unrest

If you're worried about civil unrest in your area, here are some tips that can help you survive when things go south.

Know the likelihood of a protest becoming violent

Monitor the news and learn which issues attract a higher emotional response than others. For example, there are different responses to an Executive Order (EO) to combat wildlife tracking and an EO that requires a government ID to vote in federal elections.

The former isn't probably going to get that much attention, but the voter ID issue may cause anger. A protest against a voter ID policy is more likely to trigger higher levels of emotion, which can then cause violent reactions like rioting.

The likelihood of a protest becoming a riot is directly proportional to the emotional level of the issue at hand. While engaging in peaceful protest is your constitutional right, it's best to always look out for signs of increased or irrational emotion.

Knowledge is power

It pays to monitor local issues and national trends. Listen or watch local news and sign up for email or cell phone alerts from local TV and radio stations that will usually send out alerts more quickly than law enforcement.

Monitoring the news is crucial if you live or work in a high-profile area, like an urban area with many government and corporate buildings.

You should also prepare an urban get home bag with the following items so you can find your way to safety when SHTF:

  • A sturdy backpack for your gear
  • Snacks, energy bars and ready-to-eat meals
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Toiletry kit
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Knife
  • Your preferred self-defense weapon
  • Multitool
  • Paracord or rope
  • Firestarting kit with matches, lighters, a ferro rod and tinder
  • Comfortable pair of sneakers or walking shoes and a change of clothes
  • Poncho or tarp for a shelter
  • Money and IDs
  • Detailed maps

Keep an eye on groups often involved in riots

Groups will usually publicize their grievances, plans and protest locations.

If law enforcement monitors these groups, it's wise to also keep an eye on them if you want to prepare before SHTF. Use a new account that can't be traced back to you to follow them on social media.

If you find out about a protest scheduled near you, at least you'll know ahead of time so you can prepare or be somewhere else on the same day.

Self-defense for surviving civil unrest

While a firearm seems like a good idea, it can cause more trouble if you are not proficient with your weapon. Stray bullets may also hit innocent people or a police officer.

If you really want to bring a firearm, use it as a last resort to avoid any accidents, such as when you're facing a smaller mob or if you are caught in a building that gives you enough cover. (Related: Liberty Round Table Radio: Good guys with guns will stop the criminals – BrighteonRADIO.)

Never underestimate the force and combined anger of a large group of people and how quickly things can escalate. The best self-defense weapon is your brain and preparation.

If you are forced to deal with civil unrest, remember that riot police will first try to control the rioters and it's not their goal to protect you.

If you are caught in a protest that has become violent, try to escape and look for routes out of the area. If you're in an unfamiliar area, use a phone app to get to a safer location.

Whether you're a prepper or not, now is the time to learn how to survive and defend yourself from civil unrest.

Watch the video below for tips on how to prepare for civil unrest.

This video is from the glock 1911 channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

Sri Lankan army unit fires into crowd of protesters as unrest over fuel and food shortages spreads.

Food and fuel shortages, price spikes continue to get worse in protest-hit Ecuador.

Sri Lanka collapsing fast as government suspends fuel sales, while asking Russia for assistance.

Sources include:




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