The long-anticipated NATO Summit has arrived in Chicago. The Chicago Police Department has planned and trained extensively for anticipation of protests, to insure the NATO meeting can take place, protestors can make their point peacefully, and the city of Chicago can experience a financial boon in today’s tough economy.
For the Chicago Police Department, “It’s all over but the shoutin’,” as the saying goes.
Our thoughts prayers and hope for safety and success goes out to every member of the Chicago Police Department, while facing this difficult challenge.
The Professional Protestor
There are thousands who have planned and trained long and hard for this event coming to Chicago (as well as other events in cities around the world). Those in training are the professional protestors. This is the era of the professional protester. You will see the sum total of that planning, training in action at the NATO Summit. The meeting will bring together the passionate the professional as well as the pathetic. It will bring together the apathetic, the angry, the peaceful and quite possibly the violent.
Chicago is facing the cutting edge of what the Occupy Wall Street Movement call “a revolution.”
Politicians must pay attention to the “revolution,” while it behooves law enforcement nation-wide to pay a great deal of attention to the “evolution” of the movement’s tactics.
From the Occupy Wall Street web site it describes the movement as follows:
“Occupy Wall Street is a leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors genders and political persuasiveness. The one thing we all have in common is that we are the 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends and encourage the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all participants.”
Even though they state they are dedicated to nonviolence law enforcement has discovered violence follows the movement.
Opportunity for Law Enforcement
What is for Chicago an incredible challenge is an opportunity for every other officer, especially members and commanders of Civil Unrest Teams to set your DVRs on record. Then watch back and replay all footage and follow the after action reporting from all angles. The tactics employed by the demonstration’s peaceful members as well as those, who appear to deliberately break off to trigger violence should be assessed and analyzed to prepare for your meeting with your version of “Occupy.”
Note how the competing — peaceful versus violent — groups operate.
1.) Dress and how they change from clown suits to black garb of the anarchist.
2.) Concealment tactics.
3.) Team deployment tactics.
5.) Blocking strategies.
6.) Disruption strategies.
7.) Communication tactics.
8.) Recording capabilities.
9.) Chants to inform.
10.) Chants to enrage.
11.) Pre-maneuver chants.
12.) Passive resistance tactics.
13.) Feigned passive, while actively resisting tactics.
14.) Active resistance tactics.
15.) Concealed and improvised weaponry.
16.) Banner placement tactics and messages.
17.) Membership. What organizations are openly present at the demonstrations?
18.) Leadership within the crowd and outside the crowd.
19.) Protest devices used for example, tripods, sleeping dragons, caltrops etc.
21.) Level and type of violence.
22.) Size of Anarchist’s presence.
Footage Beyond The News Coverage
There will be plenty of raw footage available on youtube.com. There will be more than you can even watch recorded sometimes with uncut commentary by the protesters. You will be able to get a unique perspective of the demonstrators. You will discover many fervently wish to gather peacefully and others are attempting to orchestrate something very different. When the two groups collide violence often erupts within the occupy groups. You may actually see the pacifists fighting with the anarchists attempting to keep the demonstration peaceful.
The list goes on, because protester tactics continue to evolve. Sometimes they evolve to counter law enforcement, but sometimes they evolve, because of the international collaboration of these groups. You can see the international influence of the “leaderless resistance movement” and read about their “revolutionary Arab Spring tactics.”
Thanks to the thousands of recorders operating in Chicago and at every event — as well as the willingness of many to post what they have recorded — all of law enforcement will be able to watch and learn. What happens in Chicago— beginning today and for the duration of the NATO Summit — will enable law enforcement better be able to protect the sanctity of the constitution while facilitating those that wish to peacefully assemble on both sides of the police lines.
Make no mistake about it. It is also just as important for law enforcement to prepare for those, who would interject violence into these demonstrations. The right to assemble violently is not a right protected by the constitution.
The line between a peaceful assembly and violence has always been and always will be best occupied by the honorable members of the thin blue line.