General Communist Tactics In Formation Of Mobs And Creation Of Disorders

These tactics and strategy are based on teachings given to Soviet agents and selected Communist party members in various countries. Schools for this purpose have been and are now being conducted in the USSR, Czechoslovakia, Cuba, and other "iron curtain" countries. Some of these centers for training the professional revolutionist in the science of creating civil disturbances and civil war have been in operation for many years. This training activity has recently been stepped up to meet the demands of the current world situation. Those forces in the democracies responsible for law and order should understand what they are up against. The tactics may be summarized as shown below:

(1) Generally, there will be no overt action by known Communists. All agitation will be done behind the scenes, using uninformed and excitable teenagers, students, illiterates, and others to form the body of the mob.

(2) Unfavorable local economic situations will be exploited. As a rule the Communists wait for some situation or suitable local issue to arise so they can provoke mob excitement. If no issue exists they create one, preferably one including a martyr.

(3) In order to minimize police and other suppressive action, the Communists will often ally themselves openly with other groups with political power and thus seel< to form a united front. At the same time they will continue mob agitation and incitation in a clandestine manner. It should be remembered that in most cases the Communist party will not be flying its true name and colors. Its local party or organizational name will not be any indication of its true nature and affiliation. In fact, the organization will probably be under some name with a claimed purpose which would indicate to the more gullible the exact opposite of its true nature.

(4) As a matter of policy, the Communists do not deplore bloodshed and violence. The concept is that martyrs and violence will excite the mob to even greater violence.

(5) A planned mob action will usually be thoroughly worked out in advance. There will be preliminary mass meetings, printed leaflets distributed, radio broadcasts, provocative cartoons and newspaper articles, and even assassinations. Local police counter-riot tactics will be studied and plans made to circumvent them.

(6) The immediate targets of mob action will be police stations with their vital records, radio stations, newspapers, utilities, and communications. In foreign countries, Communist-dominated labor unions connected with these prime targets will usually be focal points for great preliminary agitation and activity. Later these same union members will be called to join the mob, even though the action may have been initiated by a separate movement such as a student group.

(7) If the Communist party is operating openly, it may officially disclaim all responsibility for mob violence. At the same time the party members will normally be the channel through which agitators are furnished, and funds and propaganda material provided, along with whatever else may be needed to incite a mob. In some cases, if the situation so indicates, the local Communist party will be kept entirely apart from any direct activity and association with the mob activity. In this fashion the party serves as a decoy while the principal operations will be centered around or through some other local or national political movement. The Castro takeover in Cuba is a case in point.

(8) It is standard practice for Communist-trained and led mobs to be armed with non-inilitary weapons such as stones, clubs, and homemade bombs of gasoline or other flammable liquids. The armament may be supplemented by sporting firearms and crude explosive devices. Looting of local commercial outlets to secure arms and explosives may be part of the preliminary action phase. If any arms are actually supplied to the rioters prior to the action, they will probably be of commercial sporting types. They will probably not be makes and types that can definitely be traced to Communist sources. On some occasions arms supplied will be those of the army or police who must confront the mob. Planned raids on military and police arsenals are made in advance for this purpose. Arms may even be obtained by subversion within police ranks through ample use of funds or other means. Effort is made to obtain arms without prior police or public knowledge.

Communists Using Mob Violence as an Instrument of Cold War Consider Themselves To Have the Following Advantages:

(1) Police or army units of any given country arc likely to become demoralized when called upon to attack their own people, especially young students, women, and veterans.

(2) Rioters can be armed with homemade weapons that can be secured without outside aid.

(3) Communists will use people and elements of the country under attack for destruction of the government. There is no need to use Soviet soldiers.

(4) Mob violence has a tendency to grow and gather momentum due to its very nature. If the mob is allowed to grow and is not checked at the outset, its strength will increase automatically and it will draw many types of nonaffiliated elements to itself.

(5) If the government is weak and hesitates to restrain the demonstrators, the Communists will make increasing demands. When violence does occur, either provoked by the initiative of the mob or by government forces, the government will be blamed. The issue can then be used for national and international propaganda.

(6) Communists arc trained to sclcct and use the most provocative and incendiary types of propaganda slogans. Simple ones are easy to understand by the masses of the people and they need not reveal any Communist connection.

(7) Democracies operate at a disadvantage, especially when under attack, as they are dedicated to the principle of safeguarding human life and liberty. This makes the democracy vulnerable under mob attack, as it will use every means to avoid bloodshed. In contrast, a Communist country does not hesitate to use unlimited ruthlessness and mass killings, as was done in Hungary.

Communist Mob Management Techniques. An example in Iraq of effective mob management by a very small number of Communists, and a description of the control techniques they used, in the words of Mr. Gene Methvin, of Washington, D. C., follows.*

"The Communist Party of Iraq in the militant period of 1948-50 used well-designed mob management techniques. Although a tiny minority, the Communists, by carefully disguising the Communist direction of their demonstrations, were

•An extract, used by permission of the author. Mr. Gene Methvin. from an article in OluitS, No. 2 Summer 1961. Foreign Policy Research Institute. University of Pennsylvania (copyright © 1961 by the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania 1. a condensation nl which appeared in the M:iteh I'M.? issue uÍ T!>t AUIihjry Retitiv, U.S. Army r and Si.:!! O'llr^e. foil l.e.ivLn*Autth, Kansas-

able to give an impression of great size and support. The techniques used were fairly representative. They consisted of the following:

"External command. This was composed of demonstration commanders well-removed from the activity, stationed whence the entire 'battlefield' could be observed; if a moving demonstration, it would stay apart from the crowd.

"Internal command. This was the Communist cadre within the crowd. They were responsible for directing the demonstration, under the external command's orders. Great importance was attached to protecting the leader of this unit.

"Bravadoes. This group acted as a loose bodyguard surrounding the internal command, protecting the leader from police, and screening his escape if necessary. A line of these guards would flank processions and protect banner carriers as well.

"Messengers. They stayed close to leaders, carrying orders between internal and external commands. Generally, they would wheel their bicycles along the sidewalks, keeping abreast of, but removed from, the demonstration.

"Shock guards. These men were armed with stout staves and accompanied the Communist faction, but marched along the sidewalk where they were screened by spectators. They would dash into the mainstream of mob action only as reinforcements if the Communists were attacked by police. Their sudden and violent descent on the battle.was designed to provide sufficient diversion to enable an orderly retreat of the main body of Communist demonstrators who, upon signal from the external command, would melt quickly into the ranks of spectators, leaving the milling bystanders, unwitting excitement seekers, and fellow travelers to the police.

"Banner carriers. The slogans used by this group and the 'cheering section' were adapted to suit the prevailing mood. At first they displayed banners with slogans expressing general grievances, but as the demonstration gained momentum and frenzy drove out reason so that real issues lost meaning, the slogans were exchanged for direct Communist propaganda.

"In any Communist demonstration anywhere, key agitators can often be found keeping close to certain conspicuous banners. The carrier may be a sincere non-Communist protestor, entirely innocent of his true role as an important part of the internal command's communications network. By assigning key men to stay near specified banners, the command knows their location at all times and can dispatch messengers to them with instructions for stepping up the tempo, shifting slogans, or inciting violence.

"'Cheering sections.' Specially briefed demonstrators were carefully rehearsed on the slogans they were to chant and the order in which the cries were to be raised.

"Using these tactics, a group of ¿00 to 300 party members could crcatc a demonstration in which as many as 10,000 would take part.

"Still another cflicicnt mass action was organized in Buenos Aires on 3 April 1959 to turn a demonstration against electricity rates into a bloody riot. To inhibit countermeasures by the police, or at least to embarrass them, women and children were recruited to help set fire to automobiles. Supervising the vandalism were the party's top leaders. Sixteen cars were overturned and burned, and 30 persons were wounded and 144 arrested—some of whom admitted they participated under party orders."

Communist Mob Training Manual. The Communist training manual on creation of mob violence and destruction of police opposition sets forth four specific objectives, as listed below:

(1) Make investigations and report on the activities of all police and security services.

(2) Make every effort to penetrate police and security services, so that they can be better repressed and counteracted.

(3) Infiltrate police organizations to find out how much they know of Communist activities, to steal documents, and to destroy records and files that may be of value to the organizations concerned.

(4) Undermine police authority and prestige, weaken police efficiency, create the impression that the police are basically a repressive force, that the officers are incompetent and in pay of a foreign power, and that the police are not true representatives of the people.

The Communist handbook contains some very simple sketches and elementary drawings illustrating how the mob, under leadership of its trained agitators, can be maneuvered co crush police opposition and otherwise bypass the police in order to carry out its purpose. A few selected illustrations of Communist mob operations from this handbook are shown.


Fig. 1. Shows the mob advancing toward its objective. It is faccd with only a few policemcn, who will attempt to block off the path.

Fig. 2. Shows how the police have deployed into two lines to oppose the mob, and have advanced to meet it before it enters the intersection. At contact, selected mob members in front engage police units in combat, permitting the rest of the mob to surge out around the flanks into the intersection and continue toward the objective.

Fig. 3. Shows that the police meeting the mob have formed into the classic phalanx or wedge formation for mutual protection. Again the formation has advanced to meet the mob before it breaks into the intersection.

Fig. 4. Shows the police phalanx being engaged by selected hard core mob members and the beginning of an envelopment action. This action will result in the police unit being surrounded while the mob moves on to its target.


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