Updated guide to public order situations

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We are a prisoner support group, and that includes people on remand. Its fairly slow, unglamorous work, but it has to be done (so come on down!). In an ideal world, the one that will exist shortly after the social revolution, there will be no political & radical prisoners who need our support.

Until then we think its a good idea for people to do their best to not end up arrested by the police, and sent to prison. Which means people need to prepare a bit before going off on protests and actions! This following guide is an updated version from December 2009, published on the Manchester EF website:

Guide to public order situations

Intro: Police tactics are currently in flux post-London G20 – this change is very important, so please feedback any new things they are doing on the ground, anything you’ve tried, whether they’ve worked or not. Feedback contact details are at the end of this guide.

The aim of this guide is not to show you how to conduct a riot. Neither is it intended as a critique on the pros and cons of fighting with the police.

Bear in mind that the police are much better equipped and trained for close combat than you or I. They will have been psyching themselves up for hours, have plenty of reserves standing by and will feel confident with the law behind them. Beating the police is about outwitting them, not necessarily hitting them over the head, bearing in mind your original aims. (Just for the record: the authors believe history has proven that engaging with the police on their terms is not likely to result in lasting social change).

What we present here instead, is a brief guide to surviving public order situations, and slowing down or preventing the police from gaining the upper hand once a situation has occurred.


– the aims & methods of the state

– hyper-edited version

– preparations

– the aims of the protestors

– sticking together

– precautions: surveillance, truncheon blows, chemical sprays, baton charges, dogs, horses, vans, tasers

– defending

– basic police choreography

– the dance steps

– line dancing or stopping lines forming

– counter-advancing: snow plows, using your body, reforming, snatch squads, de-arresting

– other links & contact details for comments on this guide

Read the full guide on the Manchester EF website!