Scouts, reconnaissance & information

Scouts are people connected with your group who venture out around the corner, two blocks away, etc. on "reconnaissance".

 Scouts find out what is going on elsewhere and report back.
If this large demonstration used scouts, they would not have marched into a police trap on Sherbrooke and St. Denis. 500 trapped and arrested.

During the nightly student protests, there was little use of scouts. Too bad, because scouts could have alerted demonstrators that they were sometimes marching into police traps, and hundreds could have avoided arrests or being attacked with sound bombs.

In large and crowded demonstrations, it maybe impossible to know what may be going on even 30 meters away.

Scouts can be static, on foot, on bicycles, etc.. They can dress to blend in with downtown shoppers, etc.. They can report back in person or via other communication methods.

Spot the scout

Scouts keep you alert to the changing mood and dynamics at a protest, where police may be hiding, what type of police are approaching, and where safe space may be. They alert medics and others where help is needed. Medics scout by nature as they especially need to "read" a protest and prepare for potential medical needs, potential danger, look for a safe space, and to warn people that the situation might dramatically change. Medics advise vulnerable people that it is best to quickly leave an area.

The scouts' reports must be: precise to location, numbers and activity; relevant; and verifiable. Don't report or pass along rumors.


"We have an emergency. In the field, about 30 meters from the street, facing the hotel, the SQ shot someone in the head. Bad wound. They need advanced medical care now and an ambulance."
"Heading west on Rene Levesque and Berri are 12 riotcop minivans and a dozen motorcycle cops."
"DeMaisoneuve around McGill College is clear."
"The demo is now being lead by three beefy guys with earphones and they could be cops. They want us to go straight down St. Laurent. We need to see what is ahead past Sherbrooke."
"On Sherbrooke just south of St. Denis, the riot cops are blocking. To the east and west on Sherbrooke are a lot of riot police cars and they are getting out. It may be a trap."
"On the corner of Stanley & Rene Levesque - about 40 police are charging north and firing sound bombs at 200 people ."
"By the Lotto Quebec entrance, the cops and protesters are really tense and angry."
"At Sherbrooke and Alymer, the riot cops have charged the demo and broken it in two. People are running west on Sherbrook and north on Alymer."
"On Ste-Catherine and Union, people are throwing rocks at the police, But they hit a pedestrian in the leg, and she is bleeding. She is about 50, in a blue sweater, and needs help."
"Berri and deMaisoneuve - protesters are milling around, the cops are relaxed."
"On Ontario and Saginet two sound bombs thrown at the demo . The crowd is holding firm."
"Paint balloons are being thrown over the heads of the demonstrators at the police guarding the main entrance. Some rocks too. Cops are putting on their face shields and getting ready. The protesters seem clueless."
"Le Grand Ours affinity group needs 30 more people with shields to hold the front at the side entrance."
"People are facing the riot police blocking the intersection at Bleury and Ste. Catherine. They risk pepper spray. Most have little face protection."
"Bleury and Ste. Catherine - three people have been pepper sprayed on the front line."
"The students have voted to break through the line of cops in front of the school, and they have no protection whatsoever. We need medics now."
"On the Drummond side near the garage entrance, Squeegee punks are trying to light a dumpster on fire. The cops are letting them. We are going to warn the crowd that shit is about to come down."
"By Grand Alle,  the black block is engaging the cops with rocks. Non stop tear gas now." 
"Riot police with lots of rifles are moving in to surround you in Carre St. Louis, and it looks like a trap. Time to get out, now!"
At an anti-globalization demonstration in 2000 around the Sheraton Hotel in Montreal, the medics read the danger unfolding due to some protesters throwing paint balloons and stones, and attempts to set a dumpster on fire next to a line of police. Medics warned protesters and the organizers. Still most protesters ignored the signs that the demo was getting dangerous, were caught unaware by the  'sudden' police cavalry charge out of the parking garage,  were panicked and pepper sprayed. 

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