Think Before You React. And Maybe Consider Not Being There in the First Place

(This post appears in slightly different form on a private social media page.)

According to more than one news report, political extremists are planning to engage in some sort of high profile behavior on Sunday, January 17. Inauguration Day is three days later.

I haven’t heard where they’ll be, but I’ll plan on staying home. I live a few blocks from the Civic Center and Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, so that’s prudent.

It’s each person’s judgment call to make, depending on where they live and whether it’s possible to stay home.

Personally, I’ll be prepared to “keep a low profile” that entire week if necessary.

I’ve lived in Downtown San Francisco since 1982, and witnessed different types of civil unrest, including a 1992 Financial District riot that I knew nothing about until I wandered into it (damn the traffic noise. I swear I didn’t hear yelling or newsracks flying through windows until I reached the corner of Market & Montgomery and saw people going berserk. Oddly enough, the rioters were all on the sidewalk, as police officers marched in formation in the street😳).

A couple of times, there have been curfews. However, this month is the first time I can recall preparing to hide from a gaggle of assholes with Confederate flags, bragging that they’re willing to die for their cause.

There are already too many disturbed people in my neighborhood. Even on a normal day, I don’t know what to expect when I step outside.

I hope my neighbors will give thought to a common tactic used by haters, and refuse to cave to it. Groups such as “Proud Boys” will provoke decent people and goad them into doing regrettable things. That happened in San Francisco last year, during a Proud Boys rally at U.N. Plaza.

When those tactics work, the right wing media will go after it the way dung beetles go after…well, you get the idea.

Don’t let anyone persuade you to get violent. If you participate in a counter protest, keep a cool head and always be aware of the possibility that you’re being photographed or videotaped. Don’t allow your intellectual inferiors to take advantage of you by persuading you to act on impulse.

“The moment you grab someone by the lapels, you’re lost.” — Burt Reynolds

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