No to Looting
Keeping our communities safe
13 July, 2021
There are a few key things we must achieve to avoid loss of life and chaos
- Stop violence and chaos by all means possible
- Keep food coming into area – if violence continues and shops are broken no one will deliver food here
- Keep roads open to food and medical support and SAPS can come in and we can move around freely
- Identify new outbreaks quickly and get community leaders to persuade and defuse and SAPS to arrest lawbreakers – no civilians should use arms
- Teams of mediators to intervene and stop localized conflict between protestors and shopkeepers, or neighbours – try hard to defuse racial conflict
- We need to help people who are hurt
How do we do this in every community:
- In every ward, township or village: Call community leaders, councillors, Community Police Forums, religious, taxi and political leaders to trouble spots to help to keep people calm:
- Set up a central ops centre in any available office with a phone and a direct line to SAPS.
- Collect all emergency service numbers and spread. Let community know which areas are unsafe and should be avoided.
- Ask community to identify any troublemakers and report to SAPS or Ops centre
- Make sure all leaders and monitors understand the basic code of conduct: peace first, lives before property, talk before fighting, be humble and friendly but firm, obey the police, directly engage with any armed people to persuade them to not fight.
- Explain the consequences of chaos and trust the people to listen and work with you.
- Explain the results of chaos and persuade people to stop– loss of life, loss of jobs, no food or medical care in this area.
- Stop all violence especially between looters and shopkeepers, neigbours and inter-racial violence.
- Use taxi associations to inform ops centre and residents, transport people out or in and keep food supply safe where possible.
- If there is no trouble yet call them together to plan, use community and other media, social media, loudhailers to keep people calm and defuse crisis points
- Deploy monitors and leaders to every area where there are shops as an early warning system:
- set up a WhatsApp group to quickly spread information about new attacks.
- Stay at your posts and report on WhatsApp
- Call for reinforcements if signs of trouble
- Keep food and medical supplies going
– without food we will go deeper into chaos and start stealing from each other
- Without medicine many more will die of Covid
- Wherever shops are being looted food suppliers will not re-stock their supplies:
- Work with police to identify danger areas as well as delivery spots where food can be safely taken, start planning for feeding soup kitchens if needed
- Stop looting and protect shops, trucks and roads – work with SAPS
- Block entrances to malls and streets with many shops and stand with police to reinforce their numbers
- Do not let people arm themselves or use violence to inflame the situation:
- Contact SAPS wherever armed groups form
- Talk to them and persuade them not to inflame the situation
- Get help for people who are hurt
- set up doctors rooms, clinics or temporary emergency units with transport that you can contact to treat people or take injured people out.
- Protect any neigbourhoods that are threatened and all work together.
- Help shopkeepers move their goods if in danger of looting.
- Set up community teams or volunteers or members of organisations to clean up looted shops, unblock streets and reassure the public.