“’Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with you.”
– Stealers Wheel, Stuck in the Middle
Here’s a quick, down and dirty, lesson on surviving riots. For more detailed information, I would highly encourage you to visit the websites listed down below. I am trying to keep this simple, so if your adrenaline is taking off, at least you might remember some simple tips.
1) Don’t get yourself in the situation to begin with. Could the rally you’re attending get out of control? How about the soccer match? Think events through before attending them.
2) Be mindful of your surroundings. If you’re already at an event and you see a group starting to gather, pick up your things and start walking away. Joining the group to see what’s going on can easily get you entwined in it if it starts to get out of control.
3) If you do find yourself in a riot situation, stay calm. I know, easier said than done. Take deep slow breaths; regain your mind and body.
4) Don’t stand out. This is VERY IMPORTANT. Don’t become a target. Where the crowd moves, you move. If they are yelling in protest, you join them. This is not a time for judgment; this is the time to stay alive.
5) Slowly make your way to the outside of the group. Then slip away to an alley or any store nearby.
6) DO NOT RETURN. We all want to know what is happening, but instead, go home and watch it on the television.
The rest of the article will be focused on a great comment and suggestions I discovered on the other websites.
I had the questionable luck to be involved in a riot in Cameroon this Feb. The article seemed to have everything down but I’d advise against the warning telling you to run if the crowd turns against you. Don’t run. They’ll chase you and unless you can do a 4 minute mile they’ll probably catch you. My group (all very non-African) was singled out and held in the center of the mob for quite a while. We just stayed quiet. Eventually half the mob decided to let us go and after a brief scuffle with the other half of the mob we were let go. So if you can’t run just stay quiet and hope that these crazy armed men will remember that they have to go home for dinner and their mother will want to know what they did today.
(Also, thank God I was in jeans and not a skirt. The ringleaders kept shattering beer/wine bottles at our feet to keep us moving. If I hadn’t been in jeans my legs would have been nothing but so much bloody meat.) This was a comment left on The Urban Survivalist.
This is a great point made by the author
“Be aware that the police might use riot control agents like teargas and pepper spray. Also, consider that running toward police, even when seeking security, can be seen at threatening. The police could mistakenly think that you are running at them to attack them. “ Survival Outdoor Life
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