For non-preppers it seems so unlikely that riots and civil unrest would happen in the United States. “We just don’t do that! It’s something they do in Egypt and third world countries!” However our own history shows that “Good Will” only lasts so long in desperate or emergency situation. After the good will runs out it becomes a matter of every man for themselves. The quickest way to address the question of could this happen is to show you the historical precedence where it did happen on US soil. These dark moment’s aren’t talked about much these days, I don’t even know if they made it into the the history books our children read, but are a sobering reminder of how TEOTWAWKI could be. Take a moment and watch a couple of these before we continue so we can both agree yes it can and will happen if tinder and the spark come together.
- The Great Depression, All Throughout the USA (1929) – due to a stock market collapse and a run on banks many families were financially devastated resulting in massive starvation and hard times which lead to food riots.
- The Watts Riots, Los Angelos CA (1965) — Racial tension by LAPD and the African American community over unfair treatment resulting in a massive riot.
- Newark Riots, Newark, New Jersey (1967) — Racial Tension over police brutality results in a 5 day riot.
- Chicago Riots, Chicago IL (1968) — Days after the Martin Luther Ling Jr. assassination riots began in Chicago were participants felt it was their “right” given what happened.
- Rodney King LA Riots: Los Angelos, CA (1992) — Racial Tensions Spark a riot after LAPD cops caught on camera beating Rodney King after a traffic stop are acquitted of any wrong doing. This caused a race riot and resulted in massive destruction of LA
- The Battle in Seattle, Seattle, WA (1999) — Protests against the World Trade Organization and Global Capitalism result in a massive riot pitting rioters against riot police.
- Cincinnati Riots, Cincinnati, OH (2001) — For a number of years many young African Americans had been killed by police in what the populace believe were unfair and racially motivated. Riots broke out after an incident where Timothy Thomas was killed by police who were deemed as acting improperly and not giving him enough time to comply with their commands.
- Hurricane Katrina Looting, New Orleans (2005) — In the aftermath of a hurricane the government support systems didn’t anticipate the numbers of people who stayed behind. As a result food, water and other aid were in short supply. People resorted to looting and in the wake many atrocities happened such as Nation Guard Illegally Confiscating firearms while looters ran continued to run free. Police murdering individuals and covering it up as Katrina.
By now hopefully you get the point that it’s well within the people’s thoughts and beliefs to riot and loot if they don’t agree with something, or are desperate. If you need more example please visit this list of civil unrest in the united states for a massive list that will boggle your mind.
Why Riots Happen
Riots as a whole seem to be a byproduct of mass despair. Where people feel they have no other option. Despair and hopelessness in people’s lives seems to act as the tinder. Once the spark is touched off by a few individuals others join in not knowing the cause but simply as opportunist trying to lash out for their own despair. With rioting tends to come looting, beating, robbing, and setting building other property on fire. In these situations the police are helpless as they are out numbered, and they focus their attention on protecting the firefighters as they try to put out the blazes. Ultimately it requires national guard, curfews and more of a marshal law mentality before they are quelled. The despair that causes the riots can stem from a number of issues. The most common to date is people believing there is a lack of “Fairness.” Either from right being infringed, a group or classification being held down or in a crisis inequality in aid or food/water. As well a person’s own economic, life happening or social problems can be their own source of tinder.
How to prepare for Riots and Civil Unrest
- Stay away from cities — The most important thing is to remove yourself from large population centers like big cities. Ideally aim for the country side where there are less people per mile. The outskirts of town aren’t good enough as they would be subject to spill over riots and looting. In mass unrest or collapse the ability to find supplies will be low within the city, you can’t grow or hunt food there so many will parish without supply chains to back their lifestyle.
- Firearms – It’s important to have firearms available to help protect your love ones and you must be trained on how to use them. Rifles like an AK-47 or AR-15 would be ideal in this situation. However don’t go looking for trouble there are plenty of bodies left from the LA Riots of people who opened fire on the rioters and got killed. So keep it as a last resort, and let Rambo stay on the movie screen.
- Create a block watch with your neighbors — there were many communities on the out skirts of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina that took turn watching out. When a car full of hooligans drove up simply seeing an armed group of people turned them away. Bad guys don’t want to get shot, they want easy marks.
- Keep a low profile — Don’t make a big deal about what you have to anyone so people don’t come looking when trouble arises. Also if you are having to bug in and wait for it to die down then you will want to avoid light, sound, smoke, smell or other signals that could clue people in to your whereabouts and cause unneeded attention.
- Hiding your Guns and food Stockpile– it’s safe to assume that either the police or the looters will eventually make it into your house searching for one or both. You want to try and hide the supplies as best as you can. Leave some out as bait, kind of a “yepp you got everything I have now leave!” approach.
- Be prepared to bug out or bug in — When a riot happens you either don’t want to be anywhere near it, or get caught out in the storm. So have the supplies you need to wait it out, or a plan to get out before it takes hold.
- Fire proofing — Consider putting a fireproof plan in place. if you can buy a property that is majority brick and mortar with a metal roof. This will help to reduce the chance of being set on fire. Have extinguishers and other means on hand to put out any fires that get started should your property become a target of looters. If you pose a direct resistance to looters and hold them at bay they might opt to burn you alive. This is a classic trick that dates back to medieval times.
Threats Which Could Create More Civil Unrest
Pretty much anything can touch off unrest and at the time of this article there are a lot of potential causes for the next ones. Keeping aware of what’s going on and the general despair level of the population is what will help you gauge upcoming unrest. The warning signs of civil unrest and rioting generally are a large group united people who feel a sense desperation and either want to lash out or take advantage of a situation to improve things even if as temporary as looting some good they can’t afford from a store.
- George Zimmerman Trial Race riots — George Zimmerman is on trial currently for shooting Trayvon Martin in self-defense. While all the indications prior to the trial are it was justified though some poor choices on the part of Zimmerman, once it became political and a “race” issue, the chances of a fair trial are low. As a result the black community has been very vocal that if he walks it will be LA riots all over. The same threats were made when OJ Simpson Stood trial for killing his wife. Such threats have created a precarious situation in which the government might influence the outcome to prevent civil unrest. It’s unsure at this time that a riot would indeed break out if Zimmerman walks free however Florida is preparing just in case, including police going door to door to talk with people about it.
- Haves and Have nots — there is a slowly forming class warfare beginning where the rich, middle class and poor are all being turned on each other. The gap between those who have and those who do not is growing quickly. At some point this could be the tinder for a new riot or unrest.
- Economic Collapse — The economy though showing some signs of life is in bad shape. A lot of people are out of work. The government is in massive debt that it can’t sustain. As well through government assistance programs like welfare and unemployment we are in danger of a financial collapse. The number of people working and paying for the number of people not working is becoming impossible to balance. As well there are massive financial instruments such as derivatives that pose as much or more of a threat of financial melt down then the sub-prime lending did.
- Gun Rights and loss of freedom — There are a lot of patriots still left in this country who won’t stand for gun confiscation or gun rights removal, as well as the constant eroding of our freedom. As a result the constant pushing of the obama administration to restrict guns as well as the such rights violations as the NSA Spying, IRS Scandals, Russian Soldiers acting as police within the USA, and much more this could result in armed unrest.
Signs the Government might believe more is coming.
- Gun Confiscation — the government has been slowly trying to prevent Americans from being armed through regulation many believe will lead to confiscation. To some this considered a desire to control and prevent such rioting.
- 4 Billion Bullets for Homeland security– It’s unclear if why such a massive purchase of bullets is taking place, that’ enough to kill every american 10 times. Their are reports for DHS insiders this is because they are expecting massive civil unrest.
- 2400 MRAP Military Armored Vehicles ordered for DHS — This is a pretty heavy order of armored vehicles to be used by DHS. It’s not clear why they would need so many or specifically “Mine Resistant” ones like what are used in Afghanistan by the army compared to traditional swat armored cars.
- Government has been militarizing the local police around the country offering them military weapons at a discount, equipping them with drone technology, and creating a culture or cooperation with DHS and other federal authorities, both in sharing of information and resources. This is believed to be part of the coordination of resources should civil unrest and marshal law occur.
The last thought to leave you on is what happens when the civil unrest is so wide spread that there isn’t enough military or national guard to calm it down? Right now it’s overwhelming force that stops it. But if you can imagine every major city with our current population levels rioting because they are hungry and desperate. Their money is worthless and they need food and water now. Civilization is held together with tiny threads such as energy grid, supply chains, and consumerism. If those threads unravel and the population wakes up and says “social norms, rules, and politics don’t matter and I must find food for many family at any cost.” You can bet there will be blood in the streets and marshal law. It’s your job to factor this scenario into your prep. My analysis of most every major scenario ultimately will involve civil unrest at some point.