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Common Events Resulting From Protests

Common Events Resulting From Protests

Protests related to service delivery and several social issues have seen a spike over the years. While some gatherings are peaceful, others can result in unfortunate events such as theft, damage to property and fatalities. Read on to learn more about common events resulting from protests.

Road Blockages

Traffic delays, blocked-off roads, and stone-throwing are common disruptions that might result from protests and related public violence incidents. Preparedness is the first step to ensuring your safety and avoiding delays and potential property damage during unrest. The unexpected escalation of protests might lead to sudden stops while travelling on your route.

These are some safety measures to consider when you are aware of protest action in your area:

  • Monitor social media and news reports closely to get an idea of what’s happening and for real-time traffic updates.
  • Try to limit leaving your house on the days leading up to the protest.
  • Know alternative routes and how to navigate to and from your house.
  • Use the FREE-to-use iER App to access emergency management if you are caught in the middle of protesting crowds.

Unpredictable Crowds

In most cases, riots spreading from a planned protest is inevitable. There are instances where the situation can worsen overnight and impact unsuspecting civilians. Sometimes, this can lead to extreme cases of violence with devastating consequences.

Whether you are part of the action or driving past the crowd, this is what you should do to stay safe:

  • Try positioning yourself by the crowd’s edge instead of the middle, front or back.
  • If trapped in your car, avoid driving through the crowd.
  • Avoid walking in the street where the crowd is gathered.
  • Don’t stop to watch the scene.
  • If the crowd threatens your home or business, use your FREE-to-use iER App to access immediate emergency response units.

Severe Injuries

If there’s any unrest in your area, the risk of serious injury increases significantly for protesters and bystanders. Police might use rubber bullets, tear gas or water cannons to disperse the crowd. These methods can cause significant harm, and there have been reports of fatalities in worst-case scenarios.

Even a peaceful demonstration can quickly turn violent. It’s essential to follow these protest first-aid tips:

  • If you have a bump or bruise, wash your hands before applying light compression.
  • Wear a mask to protect yourself from tear gas or pepper spray effects, and flush out the chemicals with water if exposed.
  • If a rubber bullet strikes you, use your iER App to send an alert for emergency medical attention.

Looting

Social unrest can disrupt several things in the country. For instance, the lack of effective crowd control can lead to stealing goods and valuables in times of chaos. The perpetrators might damage property, break into establishments, and endanger innocent lives for personal gain.

Here’s what you can do to improve the safety of your business during periods of protests and potential looting:

  • Be prepared for an emergency by inspecting your property to understand any vulnerable entry points.
  • Ensure you remove money and other valuables from the premises.
  • Don’t attempt to handle looting crowds on your own.
  • Use your FREE-to-use iER App to access emergency management and public service providers like the SAPS (South African Police Service).

Looting

Social unrest can disrupt several things in the country. For instance, the lack of effective crowd control can lead to stealing goods and valuables in times of chaos. The perpetrators might damage property, break into establishments, and endanger innocent lives for personal gain.

Here’s what you can do to improve the safety of your business during periods of protests and potential looting:

  • Be prepared for an emergency by inspecting your property to understand any vulnerable entry points.
  • Ensure you remove money and other valuables from the premises.
  • Don’t attempt to handle looting crowds on your own.
  • Use your FREE-to-use iER App to access emergency management and public service providers like the SAPS (South African Police Service).

Arrests

Many people consider protests an invaluable way to address their concerns over service delivery and seek justice through social movements. However, following procedures and gaining local authorities’ permission is essential before taking matters to the streets. Most importantly, the police are there to ensure protesters maintain a safe space, and they can intervene if things get out of control, leading to violence and property.

  • The police can arrest anyone who breaks the law.
  • They can use force such as tear gas and rubber bullets to prevent injury or fatalities.
  • Protestors who don’t follow the rules can be arrested.
  • Participating in illegal gatherings can also be grounds for arrest.

Protests continue to be an ongoing form of public expression, highlighting social issues affecting millions nationwide. However, these gatherings can take an unexpected turn for the worse, leading to criminal offences and severe injuries. Fortunately, our FREE-to-use iER App provides nationwide access to reliable emergency medical and non-medical service providers to enhance your safety, whether you are participating or a bystander.

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