This post comes as thoughts and conclusions of the post So You Think You Want a Revolution...
where a person hits the streets during the incidents of the 2001 economic collapse in Buenos Aires.
So what did our friend do wrong and what can we learn from his experience, so as to not make the same mistakes if we find ourselves in a similar situation?
1)Don’t go out when there’s chaos.
This is the most obvious mistake. I know what the writer says about being a historic moment and wanting to be part of it, be a witness. I felt the same way. Yet I knew well there’s a risk. Even for the first “cacerolazo” there’s always the chance of coming across trouble. These days more than ever, with the official thugs, lead by Mr. Kirchner himself, “winning” Plaza de Mayo by beating up people (his own words). For them it’s a war.
Trouble? Stay put. That’s always the smartest thing to do and it should be obvious enough.
2) Have the appropriate gear.
There’s a minimum amount of gear you should carry with you at all times.
The writer mentions tear gas, smoke, etc. A face mask wont do anything at all to protect your eyes, but at least you can breathe a bit bitter when there’s a lot of smoke. Make sure to get a good quality collapsible face mask with valve. That’s the one I have in my kit at all times. Takes up no space at all and can be invaluable.
3M 9211 Series Respirator (collapsable)(link)
Remember the part where he mention’s gathering around a broken water pipe, along with 20 others to wash his eyes after the tear gas? I remember in 9/11, there was a cop flushing his caked face, covered in dust and debris, using a small water bottle. How priceless can water be when you need it the most! Not just for drinking.
5) Map of the area
The writer mentions getting lost and not knowing where he was after getting disoriented, even though he made the entire trip on foot!! (there’s a lesson there, how easy you can get lost when nervous/scared/etc) A small map or guide of your area is essential.
6) Other things not mentioned but that I would like to have in such a situation: A weapon to defend myself, a flashlight and at least a small FM radio to know the basic news. A police scanner would be even better to know the latest events as they develop.
Finally, as always, how important it is to be in proper shape. Running, fighting if needed, having good lung capacity, you’ll need all that and more.
Just some thoughts, comments and other things I’m surely missing, all welcomed.