Tuesday, July 18, 2017

WROL: Horde Hijacks Delivery Truck in Venezuela

Caracas Chronicles (3 min.)

      This is apparently from last week. It shows a horde of motorcyclists surround a truck hauling sugar in order to hijack it. The video shows a couple of Molotov cocktails being used to force the truck to slow or stop, after which the motorcyclists completely surround the vehicle. Once stopped, the vehicle is quickly looted. It is interesting to me that motorcycles continue to come up to the truck after it is stopped: I can't tell if they are part of the same group, or just opportunists coming upon the scene and deciding to join in.

       One thing that caught my attention was something that only is occasionally seen in the video: some smoke and fire on the edge of the road close to where the person videoing the incident was located. However, it is not clear whether the fire was started by someone in a pickup truck that pulled to a stop next to the location, or a woman that came out of the brush just before the smoke started. I suspect that the fire was the result of a Molotov cocktail being disposed.

      Peter Grant, at his Bayou Renaissance Man blog, comments on this incident, and has some general takeaways:
       Ask yourself, too:  what happens if they try to rob you like that?  In a situation such as now prevails in Venezuela, if you're known to have stockpiled supplies for your family, you're going to become a target for those who have none.  Guaranteed.  What will you do about it?  A man alone, or a family alone, can't defend their stash all the time . . . and sooner or later, either they'll run out of ammunition, or those wanting what they've got will up their game and bring more people and/or more and heavier weapons. 
       There really is such a thing as a "no-win situation".  Right now, Venezuela qualifies as a "no-win country".  There are already inner-city areas in the USA that can be described as "no-win suburbs".  There will probably be more.  Start thinking now about how to avoid them, and how to conduct yourself if you can't.
        My answer, at least to the first question he poses--what happens if they try to rob you like that?--would be as follows:  Assuming that all elements of imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury had been met in this case, I think an answer would have been to keep driving, increase speed and swerve if necessary to knock over motorcycles or to stop them from getting up beside the vehicle or in front of it. Of course, there is a risk of further provoking the hijackers to violence, so your response would have to be based on what you thought would happen to you if you stopped and let the hijackers have their way: would they kill you to get rid of witnesses or for maliciousness sake, or let you go unharmed?

       The more general question--someone trying to get your stash--may actually be easier in theory, if not in practice: cooperative defense and sharing of resources and labor. The early Christian church reportedly held property in common: see Acts 2:44 ("And all that believed were together, and had all things common;"). The LDS Church attempted a few different methods of running cooperatives in the 1800s, commonly referred to as the United Order. These cooperatives live on, in an abbreviated fashion, in the LDS Church's welfare institutions and practices, including "fast offerings" (monthly contributions above and beyond tithing specifically to assist the needy), the "Bishop's storehouses" (which distributes food and other items to the needy), and service for others, including working in the various canneries run by the Church (which food primarily goes to the Bishop's storehouses", although quantities can be purchased for home consumption and storage). In times of dire straights, it would make sense for a group to collect its goods and resources into a location that is easily defended, with members of that group providing what labor and services they can (defense, labor, specialized crafts or trade) in exchange for a share of the food and other resources. I would note that a similar system was used in World War II by Tuvia Bielski and his brothers in Poland with their community of Jewish refugees (and as described in the book Defiance). I'm not suggesting this as a mandate--I've noted before that I don't believe Preppers are responsible for the unprepared. I'm also not suggesting that this is necessarily workable over the long term. But it can be a workable solution in a crises.

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