The Huffington Post, Washington Post, and a vast array of liberal pundits have attempted to repudiate Glenn Beck’s forecast Occupy Wall Street analysis. For several weeks now, Beck has educated listeners about demonstrations, mobs, and protests. He has used the Occupy Wall Street phenomena as a segue for educating his listenership–educating them about how such movements turn violent.
Love him or hate him, Beck is on point with his predictive analysis. He has an exceptional team of researchers behind him. His researchers have done an impeccable job providing insight towards the Occupy Wall Street movement–a global movement already turning violent.
Forget the Marxist, Socialist, or extreme rhetoric for a moment. According to U.S. Army Field Manual 3-19.15, “demonstrations, civil unrest, public disorder, and riots happen for a number of reasons. Some of these reasons are economic hardships, social injustices, ethnic differences (leading to oppression), objections to world organizations or certain governments, political grievances, and terrorist acts.” It appears that the Occupy movement comprises most, if not all, of these reasons.
Understanding the plethora of reasons behind social mob activity assists authorities in handling the situation; so far, New York City and other cities across America have managed the situation effectively. What happens if, more like when, the U.S. Occupy situation turns violent as witnessed in Rome this past weekend?
According to FM 3-19.15, there are three key social crowd developments. Sometimes, these developments occur in order as the below listed, yet, at times, there is no specific order of the growing threat. Occupy started with phase one, “Public Disorder,” and quickly moved into phase two “Public Disturbance.” The only remaining phase is “Riot.”
Public disorder. Public disorder is a basic breach of civic order. Individuals or small groups assembling have a tendency to disrupt the normal flow of things around them.
Public disturbance. Public disturbance is designed to cause turmoil on top of the disruption. Individuals and groups assembling into a crowd begin chanting, yelling, singing, and voicing individual or collective opinions.
Riot. A riot is a disturbance that turns violent. Assembled crowds become a mob that violently expresses itself by destroying property, assaulting others, and creating an extremely volatile environment.
Rest assured, it is highly likely that the U.S. Occupy debacle will soon turn into violence–possibly full scale riots. The tepid fall weather will soon turn cold. No clear objective will limit corporate or government leaders in pacifying demands of demonstrators. Emotions will begin to supersede logic. Instigators will inevitably agitate others and violent actions will likely follow.
Glenn Beck has been wrongfully crucified for his commentary on the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. Those who ridicule him have obviously never worked crowd control, operated against protests, or witnessed firsthand accounts of riots. Police, Fire, EMTs, National Guard, and the military have all witnessed such demonstrations in the past. They have seen passive activities turn violent on the flip of a dime. They have their Standard Operating Procedures and Field Manuals like FM 3-19.15 for a reason. Demonstrations can easily turn violent and the longer they last, it’s all the more likely such violence will erupt. Our law enforcement dealing with Occupy Wall Street must be mindful of this.
Kerry Patton is a Senior Analyst for WIKISTRAT. He has worked in South America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe, focusing on intelligence and security interviewing current and former terrorists, including members of the Taliban. He is the author of “Sociocultural Intelligence: The New Discipline of Intelligence Studies” and the children’s book “American Patriotism.” You can follow him on Facebook.