Anticipating Mass Protest Disruptions

There are many issues that can disrupt the peace and create chaos in our lives. The world seems to be turning into a more violent place day by day and that is always a concern. This is the reason why security companies are looking into new ways to anticipate mass protests and disruptions.

The sooner that the possibility of a mass protest can be detected, the better. This will make it easier to handle the problem and take proper measures.

The nature of a protest and the power of herd mentality

Before we go into the process that will help security and emergency response team services. We first need to understand the nature of protests. The first thing that person thinks when they join a protest is that they are doing the right thing. This is the mindset that every single person in a protest will have.

What this means is that if you have a protest of thousands of people, they will all validate their actions. With that said, the purpose of this publication is not to debate whether the mindset of a protester is right or wrong. The purpose of to give you more insight into how the mind of a protester works.

Another serious problem with protesters is that the herd mentality is also going to cloud their judgement. When they see someone kicking down a fence, this triggers an impulse to participate and become part of the situation.

The biggest issue with this is that they will often forget about their moral values. They just act on impulse for that moment. This is yet another reason why an environment of protest is always one that can quickly escalate to vandalism and generalized violence.

How can security companies anticipate mass protests?

The process of anticipating a massive protest is one that can be easier to handle thanks to technology. The main reason why this is so easy now is that for the most part, the creation of a protest is going to happen after an event that a large number of people find unfair. Something that they disapprove and most importantly, something that makes them feel outraged.

When such a thing happens, the likelihood that people will take to social media is huge. This has been a very important part of the process of anticipating any form of protest or revolt. The process of organizing a protest is very easy when you use social media.

This is the reason why armed security will usually be alerted to move to a specific location to avoid any vandalism to happen during a protest. The biggest issue with this is that it can be very hard for anyone to predict the moment when a protest can get out of control.

The best thing about technology is that it gives way to a more predictive analysis. There is so much data that one can gather and this makes it more likely to achieve the best results. There are many things that can happen when it comes to unrest and protest, but it is all likely to start as part of a social media post.

When this happens, careful monitoring of the situation is going to help give hints on what is happening and what kind of protesting might take place in a specific location. This is the main reason why it is important to monitor social media on a constant basis.

One of the largest and most difficult things to consider in such situations is that protesting is rarely going to be a peaceful event if too many people are involved. While the protests of a few dozen people are likely to remain peaceful, when you have hundreds of protesters, you have a situation that is likely to turn difficult fast.

This is one of the first things that any security officer should always consider. The larger the number of protestors at any event, the more likely it is that violent acts will occur. If this happens near any kind of property, the dangers of damage and arson are likely to be much higher.

When protesting begins, you may find yourself looking at a very difficult situation in general. Security is very difficult to maintain when protesting is involved. The biggest problem is that instigators are usually not there for the protest, but for the simple purpose of generating distress.

The mind of the instigator

When people think about security during a protest, they need to understand how the mind of an instigator works. There are people who are resentful of society and they are generally unhappy with their lives. It is people in that category that are likely to become instigators that relish the idea of leading people to commit illegal acts and behave in ways that are irrational and useless.

An instigator does not care for the protest or for the principles behind it. The instigator only cares to agitate people and to create a response in others. When someone instigates violence during a peaceful protest, this gives that person a feeling of accomplishment.

One of the security measures that can be taken by security services is to look for this type of instigator. The use of social media is also ideal for this purpose. Some people proudly display their protest accomplishments on their social media pages.

This provides security services to start creating profiles on people who are more likely to become violent during a protest. This can be a great way to find out if any given protest is going to have a more dangerous element due to certain groups of people attending the protest. Never forget that instigators have no specific purpose in mind most of the time.

Final thoughts

The process of anticipating protest and disruptions is very complex, but at the same time, you can do very simple things to identify the most likely scenarios during and after a protest. All of this would be based on the data you can gather from key organizers of these protests.

 By Joseph Sordi, SVP

Strategic Security Corp.