During their coverage for the the #NoDAPL protests, independent journalists Unicorn Riot received a copy of the FEMA crowd control manual passed to local cops. Basically, the FBI is advising them to split protesters – or as they call them, mob members – into seven groups. This classification has been recommended since 1967. Everything between square brackets is our own comments.
The Impulsive. “These short tempered people are the kind who are always spoiling for a fight and need only a fancied insult or a slight provocation to excite them to violence or incite others to violence.”
The Suggestible [easy to influence]. “People who get into the action early and are easily influenced to follow the lead of the more violent.
The Cautious [anonymous braves]. “Individuals who wait for the cloak of anonymity to give them courage by hiding their identity.”
The Yielders. “Those who do not join the action until a large number of participants give the impression of universality. In other words, ‘Everyone is taking part, so why shouldn’t I?’ “
The Supportive [not fully engaged]. “People who do not actively join the mob but who enjoy the show and even shout encouragement.”
The Resisters [cool-headed]. “Persons whose standards of judgement are not swayed by the emotional frenzy of the mob but who maintain level heads. They can disagree with the actions of the majority.”
The Psychopathic [watch the world burn]. “Individuals with a pathological personality structure are angry at the world and seek to use a riotous situation as a means of getting even with society.”
So, what do you think about this categorization of the ‘mob members’? Which one are you, if any? It seems like this is quite a dismissive approach and indeed, treats people like members of a mob instead of you know, people. What about the people who have a genuine grievance with their government? What about those who are simply standing up for something they believe in, those who feel like they’ve run out of ways to address their government? I think those are exactly the kind of people who shouldn’t be treated like members of a mob.
Mob management can be very difficult but protesting in peace is still a constitutional right, and as such should be respected.
Andrei's background is in geophysics, and he's been fascinated by it ever since he was a child. Feeling that there is a gap between scientists and the general audience, he started ZME Science -- and the results are what you see today.