Latest Journal Article

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.

Early incidents

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 the Weathermen.

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 manipulated.

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 Convention (RNC)

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 Angles.
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 example.

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 in vinegar.

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 remove trespassers.

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 offences, etc.


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


Note: this is only a partial article sample, please signup below to get the full articles.
Get one year of magazines and newsletters for the low price of $65 Click Here!

IACSP Mailing List


bullet Special Promotions
bullet Banner Ad Rates
bullet Promotional Graphics

Grab your subscription to the most read, well respected magazine on counterterrorism in the world.
Subscribe Now!