Author Topic: Prepping for widespread political violence associated with the election  (Read 928 times)

Offline Mr. Bill

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Scenario: the results of the next Presidential election are close, and the apparently-losing side refuses to concede, claiming that fraud and/or hacking caused a false outcome.  Extremists on both sides (plus angry people who don't fit on the left-right political spectrum) start resorting to violence.  They are joined by normally-nonviolent people who believe the other side is attempting a coup.

Can we, as individuals, do any prepping for this possibility?

(This is a touchy subject, and I hope we can stick to the prepping topic, and not get into the politics of which side is right or wrong.  I'd especially like to hear from any of our non-US members who have lived through violent elections in other countries.)

Offline archer

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Re: Prepping for widespread political violence associated with the election
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2019, 08:26:15 PM »
-increase your food storage
-store more gasoline/propane/etc for preparing food/generators/etc
-increase water storage..
-etc
normal preps i expect...

Offline Knecht

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Re: Prepping for widespread political violence associated with the election
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2019, 08:25:24 AM »
Sorry, can't advice, our elections don't go that rough. Maybe next time they will.

Offline DDJ

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Re: Prepping for widespread political violence associated with the election
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2019, 10:47:00 AM »
Based on current trend I see in protests
+1 on fuel
+1 increased food preps

I would also add plan on travel disruptions.  Highways bucked delay deliveries. 
Up your get home bag for a travel disruption add stuff to stay at work for an extra day.
     Identify additional alternative routes to and from home and work
Be more diligent about having fuel in the car (specifically if you have to take alternative routs or get stuck behind a protest.
Be more mindful of your Meds if you are on them think of no UPS for a week.

I would think that any sort of civil unrest would be in and around city and state buildings or complexes. the majority of us would not see much close to home.  In your story line I think planning for the roads to be shutdown will be the best propping you can do.  There is the possibilities that a real fighting between groups could start and at that point all bets are off as to how to prepare.  The good news is we have gotten to the point everyone hates everyone not like them so those will not be organized for some time.  With any luck by the time that organization comes about everyone will see what Presidential candidates never let on they know "They can not do anything without the other side wanting it as well" and it will all die down.

That is my 2cents it and $5.00 will get you a cup of coffee.

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Prepping for widespread political violence associated with the election
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2019, 11:30:39 AM »
I know the local and state heads of the three political parties here.  They are all level headed and will quell any such things here.  But for elections it definitely would be prudent to avoid any of the cities where political violence is now tolerated.  A planned bug out vacation may not be a bad idea if you live in such areas.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2019, 11:57:42 AM by iam4liberty »

Offline rustyknife

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Re: Prepping for widespread political violence associated with the election
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2019, 05:59:59 PM »
Try not to be traveling during the elections, but, if you must prepare three possible routes. Also, prepare your vehicle for possible long term delays. I was stuck on a mountain for 9 hrs waiting in traffic for the police to clear a bad accident, snow and ice, and was surprised how many people did not have any water or munchies. I also took a smoke tarp off my flatbed truck, dug into a snow bank, created a place for women and children to relieve themselves. The backed up traffic was about 10-12 miles and I was about in the middle. Have a cell phone charger with you, extra blankets and flash lights. Many ran out of fuel thinking they could refuel in the next town at the bottom of the mountain.  If your staying home have enough food and meds to go a week or so. Being in a store or mall with lots of other people may not be a good idea. 

Offline Stwood

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Re: Prepping for widespread political violence associated with the election
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2019, 08:49:38 AM »
If you happen to be out and about then, make sure your GHB is with you and full.


Good thread  ;)

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Prepping for widespread political violence associated with the election
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2019, 06:23:06 PM »
It's hard to anticipate the potential ramifications of a widespread breakdown in national trust.  The lack of faith in the fair transfer of power poses an existential threat to the republic and a critical mass of the populace could take us down dark paths, where the perception of desperate times produces a will for desperate measures.

It doesn't necessarily have to be a direct threat of violence.  With sufficient motivation, critical infrastructure serving large swaths of the country can be efficiently sabotaged within a single state or municipality, even more so with that local government's cooperation.  Think ports, bottlenecks at bridges or mountain passes, communications, financial services, and power/fuel lines.  Disruptions in these areas amounts to an economic siege to attempt to force compliance from the rest of the nation.  It's worth considering what resources are at risk of being cut off by other states in protracted conflict and either stock up or find alternatives.  We've seen this before when fuel producing nations shut off the pipelines to consuming nations in the middle of winter.  As hard as it may be to fathom, we have to consider the prospect that states and large cities could leverage their resources and economies in order to sway a national outcome.

A big unknown is the potential for use of force by the federal government (regardless of which party controls it) against states that go down this path, as well the compliance by individual members of federal agencies in carrying out orders.  So, too, state and local governments' ability and will to support or suppress their own populations with national guard, police, or militia forces. 

Also, in this type of scenario, controlling the flow of information used to influence public sentiment will be paramount.  Foreign actors have already mounted cyber and psychological operations to influence the electoral process, so the motivation to do a better job in the future raises the temptation of over-correcting and throttling the internet and social media in ways that seriously impact the economy, to say nothing of free speech.  With so much of our gross national product dependent on the internet, the economy could take a huge hit.  How much economic pain the respective sides are willing to absorb in defense of their political beliefs is unknown. 

It's tempting to book an extended international vacation until things shake out but, with a US consumed by interregnal strife, the rest of the world may not be much better.

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Prepping for widespread political violence associated with the election
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2019, 08:31:31 PM »
...Also, in this type of scenario, controlling the flow of information used to influence public sentiment will be paramount.  Foreign actors have already mounted cyber and psychological operations to influence the electoral process, so the motivation to do a better job in the future raises the temptation of over-correcting and throttling the internet and social media in ways that seriously impact the economy, to say nothing of free speech. ...

This issue has been on my mind.  It's become standard operating procedure in multiple countries to shut off telecommunications during periods of social unrest.  I'm not sure exactly what form that might take in the US, since we're so Internet-dependent, but merely shutting down Facebook, plus its Instagram and WhatsApp services, would have a huge impact on communications but a fairly small impact on commerce.  People would try to switch to alternatives, but the alternatives would probably crash under the unexpected load.

Ideally we'd all have several backup plans for staying in touch with friends and obtaining news.  Ham radio is great for the handful of people who own and can use the equipment, but I'm really interested in alternatives that use our existing smartphones and computers.  There's LOTS of work being done by rather tiny groups of people to create decentralized Internet networks, or even to avoid the Internet entirely and just use a mesh of WiFi-connected or Bluetooth-connected devices.  Maybe next year I'll make time to learn more about this.

Offline David in MN

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Re: Prepping for widespread political violence associated with the election
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2019, 07:26:57 AM »
Why would the American government shut down the communications platforms it already controls? I don't really care what flavor of political bias I guarantee your 8 pm talk show will host "an ex-CIA paid contributor". Worth repeating that the head of the NSA can lie to congress under oath and the programmer who proved he was lying will be on the run for the rest of his life.

There are things that do scare me and most have to do with travel. Obviously don't go to a major city wearing anything that resembles supporting Republicans. In Minneapolis you will be pelted with rocks while the police laugh. As mom taught, keep the politics to yourself. She grew up in Chicago where police took off their badges to brutalize hippies. I know such abuses have been more common than I would like in cities like Chicago, LA, Milwaukee... you get the drift. That would be bad to get caught up in.

The only impactful events I have seen are both Black Lives Matter and Identity Evropa shutting down roads. I'm just picking on those 2 because they have locally done it and while I have no time for white pride racists it's really easy for Black Lives to lose support on things I would tend to agree with if they shut down a freeway. And that did happen.

Other than that it's common sense. Avoid groups. Avoid big public events that could turn. Once you are in a group of people who either believe we are under attack from rapist hordes of immigrants or the world is literally about to end (and that rhetoric is not a joke unfortunately) the biggest hurdle to violence is already gone.

That's my best guess based on what I've seen.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Prepping for widespread political violence associated with the election
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2019, 11:04:11 AM »
Since we still have a bit of time, there are many things we can do personally to secure our food, water, etc. stores in advance. Setting up redundancies for necessities (well water, power for the well in case of outage, propane options for cooking/grilling, woodstove heat/cooking, neighborhood watch program for security, bump up garden production and food storage)...


Offline Stwood

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Re: Prepping for widespread political violence associated with the election
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2019, 11:16:05 AM »
Since we still have a bit of time, there are many things we can do personally to secure our food, water, etc. stores in advance. Setting up redundancies for necessities (well water, power for the well in case of outage, propane options for cooking/grilling, woodstove heat/cooking, neighborhood watch program for security, bump up garden production and food storage)...

All good ideas. I'll add to that, gasoline for the generators

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Prepping for widespread political violence associated with the election
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2019, 08:16:51 AM »
We're moving to a propane generator... and we'll be getting a 1000 gallon tank. We may not fill it, but it things start to look bad, we could fill it. Plus, we don't have to worry about rotating fuel and deterioration over time.

Offline Stwood

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Re: Prepping for widespread political violence associated with the election
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2019, 09:17:32 AM »
I've thought about (probably should) converting our gen over. Kit is a hundred or so.
With two 500gal tanks it would make sense for us.
But as always, there's another project ahead of those ideas. Currently it's easier to roll it out of the shop and plug it in at the pole and fill with gas.
I need to be working on being able to get water from the well without elec.

Offline sams

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Re: Prepping for widespread political violence associated with the election
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2019, 09:56:39 AM »
Sorry to year the USA might get an African post election celebration

A few advises from an African:

1- these things are rarely spontaneous, it is all about one party stocking riot supplies (food and water) and weapons (stones, slings, bottles gasoline), so keep an eye out for reports of that.
2- Factor in the possible tactics to be used by rioters: clashes with police, road cutting, destruction of infrastructure. depends a lot on who is planning this disturbance.

In short you want to stay put at home until the conflict reaches a political conclusion, which should take a few weeks max.

Offline bigbear

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Re: Prepping for widespread political violence associated with the election
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2019, 10:40:14 AM »
Each region is different.  Even within a state, country, and city/town.  I'll echo knowing and avoiding the hot spots.

Build community and relationships now.  Like the old saying goes, "love covers a multitude of sins."  If you're known as the neighborhood soccer coach or piano teacher or soup kitchen volunteer, then you're "love" is not forget by the recipients.  Not sure who said it, but I'll throw out another quote, "They may not remember what you say, but they'll remember how you made them feel."  The trick is people these days can't separate feelings from thinking because, in general, their life is unstable to begin with (aha the powers of 'everything is relative').  Which is why must see the divine spark/intrinsic value in everyone we come across in life.

Financial interests will be preserved, so it will act as a stabilizing force as some point. 

Why would the American government shut down the communications platforms it already controls?

I was thinking more akin to how Apple just shut down an app that the HK protestors were using to share where HK police are (probably at the request of the HK police/gov't).  FB, IG, etc would be a broad circuit-breaker measure.  I would think it would take mass hysteria to do that.   

Sorry, can't advice, our elections don't go that rough. Maybe next time they will.

History shows ours peaceful transitions too.  And I fully expect they will be in 2020 as well.  But when the sitting POTUS makes "civil war" comments, it's tough to measure how long the fuse on the street is. 

Offline DDJ

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Re: Prepping for widespread political violence associated with the election
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2019, 11:04:27 AM »
I would expect that once it is seen as  a threat/planning tool then internet will be shutdown.  They may even use that as a weapon a siege weapon at that.  Shutting down the internet in all forms to an area would be as effective at cutting moral and grinding the US to a halt as carpet bombing.  The likelihood that it would be used would depend on who has the power.  Again stock up on Food water medicines fuel and anything else that you might need to buy.  Being ready for a week or 2 of blackout is your best bug in plan. 

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Prepping for widespread political violence associated with the election
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2019, 05:41:55 PM »
I am quickly coming to the opinion that restraing people is an important capability.  Ziptie cuffs (not typical cable ties) are being used extensively to restrain rampagers until they can be picked up for mental evaluation.  Having a few on hand may be a pretty good idea.  Something like these Safariland Double Cuff Disposable Restraints:


Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Prepping for widespread political violence associated with the election
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2019, 05:46:40 PM »
What are the legal ramifications for civilians cuffing rampagers?

Offline Stwood

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Re: Prepping for widespread political violence associated with the election
« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2019, 06:17:02 PM »
Looks like a good idea. But I've got a bazillion big ties from my truck mechanic'in
days. If I have too....

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Prepping for widespread political violence associated with the election
« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2019, 07:38:56 PM »
What are the legal ramifications for civilians cuffing rampagers?

In my state one will probably get a commendation.  Our militia laws are still in full effect, specifically:

(a) Any person may arrest any other person if:

(1) the other person committed a felony in his presence;

(2) a felony has been committed and he has probable cause to believe that the other person has committed that felony;  or

(3) a misdemeanor involving a breach of peace is being committed in his presence and the arrest is necessary to prevent the continuance of the breach of peace.

(b) A person making an arrest under this section shall, as soon as practical, notify a law enforcement officer and deliver custody of the person arrested to a law enforcement officer.

(c) The law enforcement officer may process the arrested person as if the officer had arrested him.  The officer who receives or processes a person arrested by another under this section is not liable for false arrest or false imprisonment.


Looks like a good idea. But I've got a bazillion big ties from my truck mechanic'in
days. If I have too....

Some duct tape over top would definitely make a good restraint. It prevents the various break techniques.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2019, 08:02:04 PM by iam4liberty »

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Prepping for widespread political violence associated with the election
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2019, 08:35:33 PM »
Apparently California has similar citizen's arrest law, Penal Code 837, but it doesn't protect you from civil or criminal penalties if it's deemed a wrongful arrest. 

Are you going take video of the rampager to document their crimes (you know there will be at least one video of you "violating their civil rights" as you cuff them), or assume that your word against theirs will work to your advantage? 

Murderers, rapists, and terrorists seem pretty easy to justify, but I wouldn't have a lot of confidence in being scrutinized for arresting someone  for breach of peace. 

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Prepping for widespread political violence associated with the election
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2019, 09:17:30 PM »
Are you going take video of the rampager to document their crimes (you know there will be at least one video of you "violating their civil rights" as you cuff them), or assume that your word against theirs will work to your advantage? 

Murderers, rapists, and terrorists seem pretty easy to justify, but I wouldn't have a lot of confidence in being scrutinized for arresting someone  for breach of peace.

No, not needed. Indiana law is clear and gives citizens wide authority.  Our courts have ruled "A breach of the peace includes all violations of public peace, order or decorum. Census Fed. Credit Union v. Wann, 403 N.E.2d 348, 350 (Ind.Ct.App.1980). It is a violation or disturbance of the public tranquility or order and includes breaking or disturbing the public peace by any riotous, forceful, or unlawful proceedings."

Someone tried to argue against the law in 1996.  They were drunk and a person reached into their car, took keys from ignition.  The court threw the challenge out with strong words. 

Furthermore, ourvlaws explicitely acknowledge right to use force in severe cases  All that is needed is probable cause.

"A person other than a law enforcement officer is justified in using reasonable force against another person to effect an arrest or prevent the other person’s escape if a felony has been committed and there is probable cause to believe the other person committed that felony. However, such a person is not justified in using deadly force unless that force is justified under [IC 35-41-3-2]"

"IC 35-41-3-2 says “… A person is justified in using reasonable force against any other person to protect the person or a third person from what the person reasonably believes to be the imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person:

(1) is justified in using deadly force;  and

(2) does not have a duty to retreat;

if the person reasonably believes that that force is necessary to prevent serious bodily injury to the person or a third person or the commission of a forcible felony.  No person in this state shall be placed in legal jeopardy of any kind whatsoever for protecting the person or a third person by reasonable means necessary. ”

But the legal part is only half of it.  There is the cultural part.  We expect people to stand up and help keep the peace here.  No CLEO, prosecutor or judge in this area is going to support a rampager over a well known citizen.    That is key to maintaining a peaceful society.  It is about doing what is right and the law is viewed in the light which best enables that.

As a side note, who knew a shop like this existed?!  https://www.handcuffwarehouse.com/
« Last Edit: October 18, 2019, 09:35:09 PM by iam4liberty »

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Prepping for widespread political violence associated with the election
« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2019, 09:24:23 PM »
And you have no sleazebag attorneys that will bleed you dry in civil court for wrongful arrest?

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Prepping for widespread political violence associated with the election
« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2019, 09:37:28 PM »
And you have no sleazebag attorneys that will bleed you dry in civil court for wrongful arrest?

Not really.   The judges chop them into bits.  You need complicit judges to enable those types of people.  And the law shields against civil as well.

Offline FreeLancer

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With everyone already on the same page in your state, then, it sounds like there's a pretty low risk of having to deal with any rampagers in the first place.

But for the rest of us, how does one best go about coaxing rampagers into cuffs without risking being charged with unreasonable use of force? 

Offline David in MN

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Personally I wouldn't go near restraints. As a civilian I have a "duty to retreat" when possible so I use self defense as a last resort. Restraints have a "I'm using this to further engage you" kind of thing. Doesn't quite fit with the self defense narrative.

I have one set of Peerless handcuffs I use to practice picking (handcuffs being the #1 lock in the world and a pretty crappy one at that) but beyond that I can't see using them in any practical way.

I realize the laws are goofy in that I am justified in blowing some guy's head off with a .44 magnum if I feel threatened but if he turns and walks away I have to let him go. Laws vary and I would have a good grasp of my jurisdiction before I made self defense plans.

Offline iam4liberty

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History shows that during riots those who do the right thing to protect themselves and their communities come out ahead regardless of the legal consequences. 



The restraints aren't to keep them from walking away, they are to prevent them from killing, burning down buildings, beating others, etc. 

It seems crazy to let some ANTIFA thug beat the heck out of a little old lady and let him/her move on to another target because of fear of a civil lawsuit.  Even in France they understand the importance of citizens stepping up to take down rampagers.

https://www.france24.com/en/20190201-americans-who-thwarted-thalys-train-terror-attack-become-french-citizens
Americans who thwarted train terror attack become French citizens

As I said above, you don't go looking for these situations.  If you are in an area about to descend into chaos it is a reasonable idea to bug out.  But if that isn't possible to me personally the right thing to do is protect the Innocents from the aggressors using the minimum force possible.  To me restraining a person and handing them over to law enforcement is preferable to putting them six feet under.

It is worthwhile to note how in certain states ANTIFA doesn't show up to attack people after the president holds rallys there.  So there definitely is a state effect in play as to where incidents are likely to occur.

Offline iam4liberty

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Alternatively, you can use a chair and a milk crate:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/08/13/sydney-stabbing-one-woman-injured-knife-wielding-man-arrested/amp/
Sydney stabbing: One woman dead as three British men praised for restraining knife-wielding attacker



But having handcuffs ready is a nice upgrade, in this case he could have shot him but restrained him instead:

https://www.theindychannel.com/news/local-news/bloomington-brothers-make-citizens-arrest

Bloomington brothers make citizen's arrest

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A Bloomington man took the law into his own hands and made a citizen's arrest when he says a man was breaking into his garage.
...
The homeowner said the intruder was holding a flashlight, that he initially thought was a gun. The man tried to get away and the two started to fight.

"All of a sudden my brother comes running out of the front door, bare foot, jumps on the guy, puts him in a strangle hold, takes him to the ground," Kaericher said.

As he placed handcuffs on the man, the police arrived.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 07:17:18 AM by iam4liberty »

Offline iam4liberty

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Watch this video and please explain to me how it was wrong for these citizens of Los Angeles to stop and ziptie up this rampager.  Who knows how many lives would have been lost if he gained control of that bus and drove it through a school yard of kids as some believe he intended.

https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2019/05/23/shirtless-man-goes-on-rock-throwing-rampage-targeting-buses-motorists/
Shirtless Man Goes On Rock-Throwing Rampage Targeting Buses, Motorists