Journalist William Rivers Pitt shares a document that is likely to prove a life-saver for the frightened citizen who inadvertently enters the vicinity of an "Occupy Wall Street" protest. Pitt writes:
The document, titled "Protest Safety Handbook," explains what a bank employee should do when confronted with the horror and terror of an OWS protest.... Some tidbits (Emphasis added):The movement in New York has begun to publish a four page news paper titled "The Occupied Wall Street Journal." The current edition of the published document loosely outlines the group's manifesto and intentions. The group has indicated that they have been inspired by the results from similar groups involved in the "Arab Spring" in the Middle East. The group's publication cites an intention to first to protest and then to march, escalating to civil disobedience when necessary.These types of groups are reaching out to the disengaged and disenfranchised population of the United States for members, often encouraging the unemployed and homeless to join the movement. Often these marches and protests are unplanned and result from instant notification on "Social Networks" that produce "Flash Protest Mobs" in a matter of minutes. While this group has not yet resorted to violence the possibility exists that they can.
- Avoid poorly lit areas and isolated locations that may make you vulnerable to an attack.
- Keep the cars doors locked while driving in the area of a mob or protest march.Project an image of confidence and strength.
- Walk with a purpose and avoid hesitation, keep your head up, shoulders back and make eye contact with people you pass.
- Avoid confrontation and unnecessary contact with protesters.Avoid walking or driving alone.
- There is safety in numbers.Carry purses close to the body.Wallets and cash are best kept in a front pocket.
- Avoid wearing Bank ID or logo items outside the bank if possible.
- Keep your cell phone charged and close at hand.
- Have emergency contact information pre-programmed into your phone.
- Have your keys out and ready before you need them.
- If you feel that you're in danger or if you observe suspicious or illegal activities, call the police or dial 911.
- If confronted or attacked, try to remain calm and cooperate by following the attacker's instructions.
- Do not attempt to reason or argue with the protesters. Cooperate and do not risk your personal safety.
- Be a good witness and try to remember as many details of what occurred as you can.
Makes it sound like you're walking through a war zone, right? Not a peaceful protest, but some actively dangerous Thunderdome where instant and horrible death might reach out at any time to cut you down.