Monitoring Disruptive Protest Groups
Disruptive, direct-action is an increasingly prevalent tactic in global climate change activism. For law enforcement and private security, these actions present a range of management and public safety risks.
Monitoring the activity of Extinction Rebellion
Extinction Rebellion has quickly grown into one of the world’s largest and most active environmental protest groups. Its mantra is to use non-violent civil disobedience to compel government action to avoid tipping points in the climate system.
In Australia, the organisation has targeted both major public infrastructure and private companies, stretching the resources of police forces and private security.
The targeting of private companies, as well as violent intentions of some individuals associated with the group, have been activities of particular concern for law enforcement.
Fivecast Onyx was used to identify key players in the Extinction Rebellion movement and the likely locations and targets of protest action.
This enables police and private security to be more prepared and ready for action, as well as identifying individuals attending the protests with violent intentions.
Identifying the key players
Using Fivecast Onyx, we explored the official social media accounts of Extinction Rebellion and identified more than 11,000 members of the group, as well as the administrators of the group’s social media accounts.
From this analysis, we were able to identify the key people driving Extinction Rebellion activity in three major Australian cities – Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Identifying events and the associated risks
Fivecast Onyx was then used to identify and assess the risk of events linked to Extinction Rebellion group members.
Using its detector function, activities were immediately highlighted if they contained threatening terms, phrases or quotes.
Continual monitoring of the number of people planning to attend as well as the escalating emotion and sentiment associated with social media linked to the event enabled an rapid assessment of the size and likelihood of disruptive/violent confrontations.
The analysis identified direct action activity planned against a large Australian engineering firm.
Having this level of intelligence in advance would enable the firm to be better prepared for the safety and reputational risks associated with the protest action.
Another valuable outcome was identifying a number of individuals using threatening and escalating anti-police rhetoric on social media.
This information can be used to monitor these individuals more closely, as well as providing critical information to police and security teams on the ground to enable them to be more prepared for potentially violent confrontations.
With a growing number of violent and disruptive incidents taking place around the world, the risk to public safety has never been greater.
But in an age of information, traditional methods of security are outdated, costly and inefficient.
Fivecast offers a cost effective solution to monitor, detect and investigate potential safety and security risks, requiring a much smaller investment of human capital.