How to Obstruct Mass Arrests

August 30, 2014


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Mass arrests are used to intimidate protestors and gather their details, sometimes leading to malicious prosecution for an unlucky few. The tactic requires compliance to be effective. Do the police have the resources to carry out mass arrests in the face of mass non-compliance? Act collectively to attempt to shift the balance of power. Here are some suggestions:

1. Passively Resist

  • Refuse to walk onto buses brought in to transport arrestees. Make them bring vans for each of us, requiring masses of transport & cops to carry us into them.

2. Don’t Talk to Cops – They’re not on your side

  • Answer “NO COMMENT” to all interview questions
  • Do not engage in “friendly chats” – They’re fishing for information
  • Police doctors are still police

3. Demand Everything You Can

  • Food / Water / medical help / toilet roll / solicitor / books / pens and papers / phone call / the time / a copy of the police code of practice.

4. Refuse Everything You Can

  • Resist sharing personal details until speaking with solicitor
  • Avoid signing things as this maintains an illusion of consent.
  • If in doubt, ask loudly “am I legally obliged to do that?”

5. At the police station, be resistant.

  • Refuse to go where they tell you
  • Refuse to put your hands on the fingerprinting machine.
  • Refuse to open your mouth for a DNA swab
  • Refuse to sit calmly for mugshots
  • Refuse to undress if they attempt a strip search

Waste their time!

  • Make being in custody as difficult for the cops as you can.
  • Why walk into a prison? Only walk out!

Do It Your Way

  • These tips are not obligations.
  • Trust your own judgement of the situation
  • Develop fictional personas.
  • Stay unpredictable.

This advice may not prevent your arrest, but it will reduce the likelihood of future mass arrests. Do everything you can to make it clear that there is no such thing as policing by consent.


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