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#296835 - 08/21/20 01:24 PM Maintain Awareness
Doug_Ritter Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 2058
I trust folks will keep this non-political. The point of this post is to warn that potentially bad stuff may be happening in areas you may consider safe and a lot closer to you than you might beleive.

For the past few months our suburb of Phoenix, Gilbert, has had a Thursday BLM protest and counter protest at an intersection just about 1/2-mile from us, maybe 1/3 mile as the crow flies. Nothing special there, just an "arrangement" forced by Gilbert PD. You want to protest, we'll allow it here. https://www.google.com/maps/place/814+S+Gilbert+Rd,+Gilbert,+AZ+85233/@33.3352263,-111.7923453,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x872ba9661400a5bf:0xd367a295853ac977!8m2!3d33.3352263!4d-111.7901566

Typically there's been about 20 BLM protesters on the SW corner. Mostly young kids with 1 or 2 older organizers. Maybe some concealed firearms, but none visible.

NW corner will typically be 30-40 Blue Lives Matter counter protestors. Generally older folks with some kids, fairly well armed with at least a dozen ARs, etc., visible.

Using speakers they hurl insults across the 6 lane road for a couple hours and disperse. Those driving past honk and give the finger mostly to the BLM kids (its a heavily conservative area politically). Usually a couple Gilbert PD members just keeping an eye on things. Mostly folks behaving themselves, with the exception of the vitriol.

Yesterday afternoon/evening was different. Intersection was blocked or they were letting through one lane at a time. Rush hour, busy intersection, backed up badly at times. Folks doing u-turns and such to get around it.

BLM side had about 50-70 protesters. Counted 3 "older" guys with ARs visible "up front". Other side of the street had 300-400 (and growing) and enough arms to start a small war. Counted at least a dozen with body armor. Mostly older crowd, but lots of younger as well.

40-50 Gilbert PD officers there. SWAT rolled up as we left the area. PD did a good job of restraining folks, completely surrounding the BLM protesters. Fire and EMS was in parking lot ready to assist. It was 108 degrees, folks were dropping off cubes of water bottles to the folks on the NW corner.

http://www.equipped.com/graphics/08202020-3.jpg

http://www.equipped.com/graphics/08202020-2.jpg

http://www.equipped.com/graphics/08202020-1.jpg

Not a word of this in the local news last night or this morning.

Social media intel suggested BLM was planning violence, according to my sources, but apparently overwhelming force from Gilbert PD combined with social media call out to those opposed to BLM put a damper on it.

But, it could have easily gone very badly. Intel suggests it may be even larger going forward.

Again, just down the street from suburban middle class diverse residential areas, with exception of SW corner is a county island of generally less affluent Hispanic families who have been there for decades. Unlike many cities where we have seen rioting, a significant portion of the Gilbert population is well-armed.

Crazy times. Be prepared folks. Stay aware of what's going on in your area that may not make the news.

Keep it non-political here.
_________________________
Doug Ritter
Editor
Equipped To Survive®
Chairman & Executive Director
Equipped To Survive Foundation
www.KnifeRights.org
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#296836 - 08/21/20 02:03 PM Re: Maintain Awareness [Re: Doug_Ritter]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3427
Loc: USA
I strongly recommend to all that you not participate in any protests of any sort, for safety reasons. As you may be aware, there are those who have joined planned peaceful protests in order to start fighting, rioting, arson, and the like. Media coverage of this has been dismal.

Furthermore, I also recommend that you take extra precautions to avoid any protests. To that end, expand your collection of intelligence beyond the news and check social media, protest websites, and traffic apps to see what’s going on. I’ve directed my family members that if they see anything that looks like a protest they are to immediately exit the area, even if that means abandoning whatever purpose they had for their trip. We do careful route planning for trips that previously were taken without much concern.

As the sage Mr Miyagi said so many years ago, “...best block, no be there.”

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#296837 - 08/21/20 02:52 PM Re: Maintain Awareness [Re: Doug_Ritter]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2202
Loc: Colorado
I would certainly avoid any protests. These days, I would never go into the center of a large city. Just too risky.

I am also armed, should the protesters decide to chase me down and assault me while I'm trying to peacefully stay away. Currently, I would not expect to see protesters on my doorstep. But if they do come and try to gain illegal entry, my response will not be submission.

First best: Total avoidance - this is just common sense

Second best (in case you cannot avoid): Have the ability, training and willpower to protect yourself - this is just common sense as well.

Quote:
Unlike many cities where we have seen rioting, a significant portion of the Gilbert population is well-armed.

Is it too political to point out that this is probably the reason why your protesters have not gotten out of hand like they have in other not-so-well-armed areas?

Back when I joined ETS many years ago, being prepared was more about signal mirrors, whistles, fire starters, etc. I'm afraid that times have changed, and not for the better. My EDC ferro rod has been replaced by a spare magazine. My fanny pack has been replaced by a high ride concealment holster. Sad.

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#296838 - 08/21/20 03:12 PM Re: Maintain Awareness [Re: Doug_Ritter]
pforeman Online   content
Member

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 189
Loc: Iowa
We had a protest group march in our western suburb in the Des Moines area where they drove in by car and bus to a large mega church and staged from their parking lot to walk to a city park area about two miles away. They went right by the house and I could look out the window and watch them go by. The local PD along with mutual assistance from the rest of the area did just great keeping them on the sidewalks and working traffic at intersections so the group could cross.

Here it was one and done. The support was all from outside the area and we never saw another attempt to come to the suburbs here. While there were some substantial 'protests' in Des Moines proper, including some downtown damage, gas being used and a few arrests, they seem to have peaked several weeks ago and have since faded away.

I'm in an HOA group and the wisdom here is to not display political or social statements/signs to avoid being targeted. I've seen one political yard sign in the last three months and it was only out for a single day before it was taken in a put in a side window - which a few days later was also gone. There are very few bumper stickers or any other external indications by most people here of specific political views - sure, a few but only a very few. It seems to be an entire community has gone "grey" for social purposes. Listening to the local and area PD / Sheriff on-air traffic it seems to be normal traffic and calls being answered.

With that, being retired I am really out of the loop but have heard from a couple of old colleagues that there isn't a lot of concern right now around here because of a substantial lack of local support. Our biggest issue is dealing with the impact of the windstorm from last week and nobody seems to much care about politics right now.

I'm still taking some extra precautions as I'm a bit paranoid but we're lucky in having a more conservative and laid back population.

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#296840 - 08/21/20 05:27 PM Re: Maintain Awareness [Re: Doug_Ritter]
Phaedrus Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2761
Loc: Big Sky Country
A ship is safe in port but that's not what ships are for! I'm glad that Rosa parks and mlk didn't meekly avoid protests and 'making waves'! smile
_________________________
“I'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” —Richard Feynman

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#296841 - 08/21/20 06:09 PM Re: Maintain Awareness [Re: Phaedrus]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2202
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: Phaedrus
A ship is safe in port but that's not what ships are for! I'm glad that Rosa parks and mlk didn't meekly avoid protests and 'making waves'! smile

It's not about avoiding waves. It's about picking and choosing which ones are beneficial to you. Stay away from the ones that might swamp you, ride the ones where you are in control. Right now there are more swamping waves out there, but in not too long there will be more riding waves. Observation, analysis, patience and planning are all virtues. Blindly engaging (or the opposite - joining) an emotional mob is sheer stupidity. Usually the result is the exact opposite of the originally stated intention.

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#296842 - 08/21/20 06:18 PM Re: Maintain Awareness [Re: Phaedrus]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3427
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Phaedrus
A ship is safe in port but that's not what ships are for!


I should have prefaced my previous post by asking what I call the "mission question." My mission is to keep my family and myself safe.

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#296843 - 08/21/20 06:56 PM Re: Maintain Awareness [Re: Phaedrus]
Herman30 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 371
Loc: Finland
Originally Posted By: Phaedrus
A ship is safe in port but that's not what ships are for!

Yeah but you do not deliberately set sail into a hurricane, do you?


Edited by Herman30 (08/21/20 06:58 PM)

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#296845 - 08/21/20 08:38 PM Re: Maintain Awareness [Re: Doug_Ritter]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1198
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: Doug_Ritter
I trust folks will keep this non-political.
The subject is inherently political.
Originally Posted By: Doug_Ritter
BLM side had about 50-70 protesters. Counted 3 "older" guys with ARs visible "up front". Other side of the street had 300-400 (and growing) and enough arms to start a small war. Counted at least a dozen with body armor. Mostly older crowd, but lots of younger as well.
So who should I be most afraid of? The small group with 3 armed guys? Or the 300-400 heavily armed group with body armor?
Originally Posted By: Doug_Ritter
Keep it non-political here.
Unlikely, but we will try.

Originally Posted By: haertig
Back when I joined ETS many years ago, being prepared was more about signal mirrors, whistles, fire starters, etc. I'm afraid that times have changed, and not for the better. My EDC ferro rod has been replaced by a spare magazine. My fanny pack has been replaced by a high ride concealment holster. Sad.
What is sad is the lack of objectively evaluating relative risks.

Recently I had occasion to visit Oregon. As part of that visit I needed to go to downtown Portland, which has been much in the news. It turns out that the protests in Portland have been confined to a very small area, perhaps 12 city blocks or so, which we easily avoided. The protests and response from the local police and federal troops is no doubt a very big deal for people who live and work in that tiny area. However, outside of that very small area, life goes on very much as normal, or at least as normal as can be during a pandemic. At least 99.99% of Portlanders have seen no direct effect from the protests.

Meanwhile, the pandemic goes on unabated. Current estimates are that at least 177,000 Americans have died form COVID19, mostly (but not entirely) older folks such as myself. I spent roughly the same amount of time on a crowded airplane, flying to and from Portland, as I did in downtown Portland, within a few blocks of the protest. Where do you think I took the biggest risk?

Meanwhile, in California wildfires have burned 771,000 acres in one week, and killed at least 5 people. One fire, the "CZU Lightning Fire", has forced more than 64,000 people to evacuate. Another fire, the "LNU Lightning Complex", had burned 219,000 acres, and destroyed 480 structures, with 0 percent containment. Travis Air Force Base (where I flew out of on my way to Vietnam many years ago) has been mostly evacuated, and the aircraft flown to other locations.

And meanwhile in Iowa, they are only beginning to recover from the recent derecho winds. Thousands without power, probably billions of dollars in damages, and a number of deaths are the direct result of this storm. Some of our extended clan down in that part of the country say that some farms were utterly destroyed, and will likely never recover. And down in the Gulf Coast, forecasts indicate that two tropical storms could reach hurricane strength and may make landfall simultaneously.

Let's keep our risk evaluation, and our preparations realistic.
_________________________
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

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#296846 - 08/21/20 08:52 PM Re: Maintain Awareness [Re: Doug_Ritter]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3427
Loc: USA
Where I live, COVID cases are over-counted. Our authorities are on the record stating that every decedent in my county who tests positive is counted as a COVID death, excepting only obvious trauma victims.

There is a counter-argument that in some places COVID deaths are being undercounted. That could certainly be the case.

This goes to risk evaluation: with the data available being unusably poor, we're being more conservative in our precautions than we might otherwise be. We're doing the same with precautions regarding civil disorder. With so much of what's happening not being reported in the news, we're being more conservative in our precautions.

On the plus side, staying home is good for both of these potential threats.

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