Preparing For the Occupy Crowd
I support anyone's right to peacefully assemble. I don't believe they have the right to disrupt commerce, destroy public and private property, or scare "the straights." I'm sure you've all seen the recent reports of the Occupy Wall Street and thier clones doing things like, defacating on a police car, trying to take over the Air & Space Museum, making public streets filthy, and generally being spoiled little rich kids. I'm sure at some point, this was planned as a noble cause, protesting for justice, but it has devolved into a mass of disorganized malcontents with no common goal other than being a part of something. Within that group, there is further involvement of some with actual malice and harm being their goals. That smaller group, has the potential to lead the rest of the herd into eventually causing riots and violence, ala London, Paris, and the "Arab Spring." My advice in the cities where the occupiers are already campaigning, is to stay away if you can, but be very warry if you go there.
Well, I'm about to put my ideas to the test. You see, Occupy Richmond will begin next Saturday in a park next to Virginia Commonwealth University. When I was a young VCU student, those of us with conservative leanings called it Viet Cong University because of the radical leftists that filled much of the campus. I was actually in a counter protest against the wannabe hippies protesting the Persian Gulf war before my unit was activated to go. I was interviewed by the local TV news and said, "the young ones are cowards and the older ones are trying to relive the 60's." Hopefully I've become a bit more articulate with age, and also a bit more tolerant of others.
So why am I going to be there on Saturday? The park is right across the street from The Landmark Theater (formerly the "Richmond Mosque," an historic theater that was originally a Masonic Temple and venue that has seen everyone from Frank Sinatra to Willie Nelson to countless showings of the Nutcracker - Check out the current Jeff Dunham show on Comedy Central - it was filmed there). Anyway, my wife, neice (don't tell her, it's a surprise) and mother have tickets for the matinee of Wicked that afternoon. The original plan was for them to go, enjoy the show, and come home, leaving me to work on the yard, load some ammo, and do some reading. That is no longer the case.
I'm not going to ask them not to go. The occupation is not scheduled to start until right before the show ends, so I think it is still OK for them to go... with some precautions.
Here's the plan:
I will drive, and drop them off right at the entrance, about an hour before showtime. I'll park on top of the nearby parking deck where I can see the park and the theater. I'll sit up there in a lawn chair, reading a book and smoking a stogie, periodically watching the park through binoculars. My wife will have her cell phone (on vibrate) and one of our GMRS radios (turned off). If all is fine, she'll call me when the show is over and I'll swoop in and pick them up at a predetermined door, with them waiting inside until I appear. If I see things starting to get tense in the park, I'll call her on the cell phone. When she sees my number on her phone, she won't answer, but they will immediately leave and turn on the radio after reaching the lobby, to await exfiltration coordinates. I'll then swoop in and pick them up and "un-ass the AO." While waiting, I may stroll among the perimeter of the park, looking for intel and indicators, it just depends on what I am seeing and what my gut is telling me. I will be armed with a pistol, and two levels of non-lethal force. I'll have some quality OC spray, as well as my Cold Steel Blackthorn walking stick.
My expectation is that we will be far clear of the area before any unrest begins. If the occupation started this past weekend and had a week to build, I would probably have different plans, just as I would if they were going to an evening show instead of the matinee. This group had 200 people at their planning meeting (the radio news revealed that they were doing the same creepy repeat after me chanting as was recently seen on Fox News with the Atlanta group), VCU has a history of left wing activisim, and we have a Federal Reserve branch in Richmond, so this could get pretty big.
What do you think? Am I missing anything in my plan? Have you been involved with or near any of the Occupy groups? Am I missing the whole picture on them?