The Anarchy Rise-Up of 2020
By Jim Weiss and Mickey Davis
Protests and riots are making the news in 2020, but they are
not new. Neither are groups that employ that type of civil unrest
to try to gain their advantage.
Protests have tended to follow a template in targeted cities
and suburbs which begins during the day with anti-police protests
and the destruction of historical statues, etc. With darkness
come trained and financed hardcore looters, arsonists, stone throwers,
assaulters, thieves, barricaders, and killers, leading to hundreds
of police being injured.
Police have the duty to enforce the laws—and to try to
accomplish that so they do not become injured—and so that
the citizens they are sworn to serve and protect, as well as the
law breakers themselves, do not become unnecessarily hurt. Expected
at any confrontation are in-your-face video and still cameras
in the hands of the rioters and the media. And yes, protestors
could and can be expected to have their own lawyers in the crowds
in case of future lawsuits.
While a revolutionary philosophy dates back to the 1880s, the
tactics of today were familiar in the 1960 and 1970s under such
group names as the Symbionese Liberation Army,
(SLA), the Black Panther Party, Students for a Democratic Society (SAS), and
In the 1960s, multiple major riots took place. These included
race riots in Harlem and Philadelphia; Los Angeles’s Watts
Riot; Cleveland’s Hough riots and later, the Glenville Shootout;
and riots in Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Berkeley.
The year 1968 especially saw disruptions and revolution, including
riots involving the Democrat Party Convention (sometimes called
the Chicago Police Riots).
These continued into the 1970s with the Kent State shootings
and riot; Jackson State, Mississippi shootings; Camden, New Jersey
riots; and the Attica Prison uprising.
In August 2014, the Black Boc, Black Lives Matter, and Antifa
went into action protesting the police shooting of Michael Brown,
a black teenager, in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown, in the company
of an older friend, shoplifted from a convenience store and shoved
the clerk. When stopped by a police officer in a police car, things
went south, with an assault on the police officer and an attempted
grab of the officer’s gun, although reports of the incident
vary. In time, the grand jury did not indict the police officer;
it was a justifiable police shooting.
Then there are the lies and polarization of America. For those
inclined, Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals indicates
how to keep the pressure on. For example, one lie is to frame
the police. If lies are repeated often enough, people believe
them; there is no separation of fact from fiction. Statistics
and facts are ignored, distorted, taken out of context, and agenda
By the time the Republican National Convention was planned in
2014, law enforcement did not want to be caught unprepared. Injured
police officers and online chats of “kill the cops” in
prior rioting and protests—such as the activities experienced
in the “Occupy” movements—pointed to the coming
RNC event as being of concern.
Turning the Tide: Preparing for the Tampa Republican National
During this time period, oppositionist events were occurring
around the country in places like Oakland, Miami, Washington DC,
New York City’s Zuccotti Park, Seattle, Atlanta, and Los
Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies worked together
in information gathering and sharing, especially regarding radical
groups and individuals. These were people who had been active
in obstructive, destructive, and criminal activities in other
riots and protests, often referred to as direct action. Direct
action can include both violent and non-violent actions.
Protestors consisted of globalists, Ruckus Society, extreme leftists,
unionists, and various issues-driven protest groups that had been
active in other nations, too. For example, the Revolutionary Communist
Party, USA (RCP, USA) was active internationally in both the United
States and Europe.
Incidents and Groups Studied
The Seattle May Day Protest of 1999 was particularly reviewed
in regard to radical groups and individuals whose criminal activities
were violent and destructive. Information was shared with local
police and sheriff’s offices, federal, and state agencies.
The actions of radical groups, such as Black Bloc in particular,
were studied. These tactics included rioters chaining themselves
heavy items such as heavy wooden crosses to block streets, for
In Seattle, the police on riot control duty really could not
make arrests, since to do so would weaken the line of police officers
when the arrests were made. The police were also stressed since
there were not nearly enough officers.
In these Seattle riots, police cars were burned. Protestors used
super slingshots, vandalized stores, broke into private homes,
threw concrete pots off buildings, and threw blood, human waste,
and homemade grenades at police. To counter the burning sensation
from police less-lethal sprays and gas, demonstrators used gas
masks and bandanas, didn’t bathe, and drenched themselves
Protests and Rioting at the Proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas
Miami in 2003 -- Lessons were learned by reviewing the problems
and solutions in the Miami experiences. For example, there was
difficulty re-supplying the various needs of the police. While
batteries, radios, riot control grenades, and less-lethal munitions
ran low in the field, there were actually ample supplies at the
Orange Bowl staging area.
Elements of the over 10,000 protestors, who were very well coordinated
using radios, threw homemade grenades. To take control of the
situation, rapidly-deployed grenadiers were used in front of the
police line. Deputies followed the mobile field force officers
on foot. Businesses allowed officers to break into buildings to
Demonstrators had underestimated the number of police (3,500
officers were involved), who seemed to be everywhere.
Occupy Wall Street demonstrators and rioting also took place
in numerous cities, most notably Denver, Seattle, Oakland, and
New York City. Again the lessons learned from these incidents
were reviewed and passed on during crowd and riot control training
for the 2014 RNC.
RNC Extremist Groups — Within the “Occupy” movement,
there were police concerns over the extremist/anarchist influences
concerning repeated obstruction of police investigations, even
when Occupy protestors themselves were victims of violent crimes
committed by people moving about within or as part of the “Occupy” protests.
There were documented reports of assaults, rapes, felony drug
About the Authors
Lieut. Jim Weiss (Retired) is a former Army light infantryman,
school-trained Army combat engineer, a former school-trained (regular
Army) Army military policeman, former State of Florida Investigator,
and a retired police lieutenant from the Brook Park (OH) Police
Department. He has written and co-written hundreds of articles
for law enforcement and safety forces magazines, most notably
Law and Order. Tactical World, Knives Illustrated, Tactical Response,
Police Fleet Manager, Florida Trooper, and Counter Terrorism.
Mickey (Michele) Davis is an award-winning, California-based
writer and author. Her young adult novel, Evangeline Brown and
the Cadillac Motel, won the Swiss Prix Chronos for the German
translation. Mickey is the wife of a Vietnam War veteran officer
and a senior volunteer with her local fire department
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