by Daisy Luther, The Organic Prepper:
Let’s talk about martial law. This is when the normal law of the land is suspended and the authority comes from the military or federal government.
One recent example of undeclared martial law in the US was when the police were looking for the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing and went door to door, forcing innocent people to come outside with their hands on their heads at gunpoint, while their homes were searched without warrants.
It turns out that many of us have some serious misconceptions of what it’s really like to live through a martial law situation. I asked Selco, who has personally been through it, to clear up the myths and tell us what it’s actually like. You can always count on him for the unvarnished truth, and that’s what we need to be prepared to survive extreme situations.
Would you say that your city in Bosnia was under martial law for any part of your ordeal? How long did it last?
During Yugoslav wars, in different regions (states) based on particular timing and events you can say that martial law was in place, or “state of direct war threat” as some call it here.
There were different “stages” or even levels of it, but one common fact is that during that all normal civil rights and laws were completely and absolutely a matter of the will of the “war government.” (Or “military council” or “war headquarters”.)
The names were different for different regions, even cities, but the results were the same.
In the case of my city in that particular time, it was “war government” that had little influence on ordinary citizen simply because there were too many factions.
But prior to that time and after that year I experienced and went through something that looks more like real “martial law” as your readership imagines it.
Many people in the prepper community think they’ll be able to take on the militarized police or army rather than bending to the new rules. How do you think that will go? Can you give any examples of people attempting to defy the military?
Yes, I am aware that lot of preppers imagine martial law to be like some black and white situation (with clear causes, solutions, and views). In reality, it is quite different.
It is a situation where all stakes are much higher, and solutions-actions that the government ( ruling party, military leaders or whoever in your case) wants to achieve will be attempted with all means. That can include some new rules where what you think about it usually does not mean anything.
A lot of preppers think about “martial law” but in reality, they think about it still in normal terms, with rights, law, constitution, and rules…
You cannot defy military, at least not openly, because they will deal with you fast and efficiently. In times like that it is so easy to get labeled that you are dangerous, an enemy of the state, a terrorist or anything similar, and most probably you will not have any help.
Forget about the movie illusions of openly being a freedom fighter.
No matter how well-organized you are, those who impose martial law have better organization than you. Remember that martial law usually means an information blackout. “They” will own information and present it to the public the way that they want to present it.
There are a lot of myths about martial law in prepper lore. Can you discuss a few of them?
In my opinion here are a few really widespread myths in prepper movement about martial law:
“The UN will somehow “occupy” my land, impose martial law.”
When it comes to martial law I would choose to be worried about my own government first when times get really hard. That’s because most probably your freedom will be taken by those people through the martial law so they can achieve they own goals, or in order to stay in power when all goes to s..t.
It is not about who lives where, and what kind of system you have, and how much you love your country. It is about powerful people staying in power when times get really hard, even if that means taking all your rights and eliminating all possible threats from the common folks.
Patriotism does not have anything to do with that.
While you are looking for some outside “exotic” threat, the danger may be next to you all the time.
“I will recognize the threat (coming martial law, repression etc), and fight against it.”
Most probably you won’t because it will be arranged into something easily “digestible.”
For example, it will be a fight against terrorism, foreign threat, patriotism euphoria, or something similar, and then one day you’ll realize you are living in the middle of “no more rights” situation. Maybe even you’ll even be labeled as an enemy of the state simply because you have a weapon, or an off-grid retreat or similar.
Do not expect to see one day a big neon sign that says “martial law is coming”, because it will be smartly packaged into something reasonable and understandable. And most probably it will not be called martial law.
It will be packaged in a way that most people will actually welcome it, because they will not recognize what is actually, and those who openly recognize it and call it by its real name will be the first in danger.
The majority of people will look for it and ask for it, because they will think it will resolve a hard situation.
If you are going to be able to fight it, most probably you’ll have to fight it in a silent way, like a real underground resistance movement.
“I just need to obey the rules and look after my own business and all will be fine.”
Actually yes, this is true. But it is hard to obey rules when those rules actually take all of your freedoms.
One of the first actions in martial law situations is to eliminate possible threats – or let’s say “subversive elements”.
It can be done in a soft way by shutting down free press. for example. Or making you obedient (docile) by taking away your resources, and making you dependant on resources that they will give you. Or it can be done the hard way by making “problematic” people “disappear” after raids for example.