Civil Unrest to Homegrown Terror:
The Importance of Maintaining Public Trust in Government

Johannes Swanepoel
Jack Killheffer
Matthew Hilliard

Introduction

            This collaborative paper dissects different cases of civil unrest to determine common themes found throughout the emergency management life cycle.  Analysis covers an evaluation of the prevention, response and recovery phases of the emergency management cycle for several incidents, including the current situation in Ferguson, Missouri, the Lonmin Mine massacre that took place in Marikana, South Africa, and the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.  The concepts of mitigation and protection are not discussed in great detail because they are not in the scope of this paper’s focus.

            Our analysis suggests that events stemming from civil unrest present unique challenges that result from lost trust in government. Civil unrest broods opportunistic crime and acts as a magnet for fringe groups looking to encourage violence between police and civilians. Media outlets tend to focus on violence, especially when it is a result of interactions with law enforcement.  Ineffective response also leads to increased media attention.  Focusing in on the shortcomings of a response effort may affect the mindset of responders and protestors alike.  The people involved in violence and aggression often represent a very small percentage of the civil unrest population.  Some instigators of aggression operate alone and may be referred to as lone-wolves. When civil unrest is poorly prepared for and managed by the responding authorities, the line between rioting and homegrown terrorism can quickly become blurred.  Homegrown terrorism is defined as violent acts committed by citizens or permanent residents of a state against their own people or property within that state in effort to instill fear on a population or government as a tactic designed to advance political, religious, or ideological objectives.  When the active participants of unrest feel that they have been wronged or justice has not been served, a memory of betrayal can fester for years to come.

            While the incidents examined in this paper are not individually related, a common theme exists; the relationship between a society and its trust in its government is a critical factor in the likelihood of success for prevention, response and recovery activities.  Unrest presents a problem that is adversely affected by the existing level of trust maintained between government and the everyman.   History has a way of repeating itself, and the Ferguson case is only one of many examples of tensions between government and its citizens.  By drawing comparisons between Ferguson, the Oklahoma City Bombing, and the Marikana massacre this paper looks at our government in the early 90’s and today, as well as the government of South Africa to paint a picture of the influence that a government can have on the management of emergencies.

Ferguson Background

            The fatal shooting of Michael Brown on August 9, 2014, sparked an ongoing series of protests and civil disorder in the city of Ferguson, Missouri.  With all facts of the investigation set aside, media outlets showed an example of a white police officer using lethal force against an unarmed black teen.  Racially charged cases involving deadly use of force by law enforcement have been in the media spotlight for some time.  Recent examples include the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner.  Media outlets portray a pattern of evidence suggesting lack of restraint by police officers and the court’s proceeding decision not to indict.  Civil unrest has extended beyond Ferguson to protests sprouting up in urban areas across the country.

            The day following Michael Brown’s death began peacefully with memorial services but escalated to unruliness as the day wore on.  Local police stations mobilized around 150 officers and donned riot gear.  That evening at least 12 businesses suffered from either vandalism or looting, and a “QuikTrip” gas station was completely burned to the ground.  Police made around 30 arrests that night for charges including theft, assault, and burglary.  This day marks only the beginning of what has been coined “Ferguson Civil Unrest 2014”, essentially putting the small town on the map.  Riots and looting continued going strong for nearly a week as police pushed back using non-lethal suppression tactics which included the use of tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds.  Some have argued that these tactics amplified the level of violence by protesters (McCaskill, n.d.).

            In anticipation of the grand jury handing down a decision of whether to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of Michael Brown, Missouri Governor, Jay Nixon, declared a state of emergency.  His reason for declaring a state of emergency was as a precautionary measure to prepare for a potential second wave of violence and unrest.  The state of emergency, officially declared on November 17, 2014, allowed for Governor Nixon to call in the National Guard.  In the event of expanding civil unrest, Nixon did not want Ferguson Police officers to be on the frontline of response.  This meant that the National Guard would step forward and take a larger role in responding to violence resulting from the unrest.

            In terms of the disaster life cycle, the initial response to the Ferguson crisis was the reactive mobilization of police forces and riot control tactics.  The ongoing response which also blurs into some aspects of preparedness for future crisis includes the governor’s decision to declare a state of emergency and call in the National Guard.  Recovery efforts are broken up into two categories: Physical recovery from the resulting damages, and reputational recovery for not only the Ferguson Police Department but law enforcement on a national scale.  One recent effort to mitigate further issues involving unwarranted police use of force was President Obama’s decision to invest 75 million dollars on 50,000 police body cameras.  The outbreaks in Ferguson are traceable to two key events, the killing of Brown, and the Grand Jury’s decision not to indict Wilson.  But due to the ongoing national implications of the case, the phases of response, recovery, and mitigation are arguably all functioning simultaneously.

Prevention

            On November 21st, a plot by two men planning to detonate explosives during response to the grand jury’s decision was foiled.  “Against this backdrop of heightened tensions, according to a law enforcement source, two men described as reputed members of a militant group called the New Black Panther Party, were arrested in the St. Louis area in an FBI sting operation” (Wallis, 2014).  This event represents an aspect of prevention by government.  The FBI seeks to identify extremist groups like the New Black Panther Party who use the “heightened tensions” in Ferguson as an opportunity to fuel homegrown terrorism.  While the motivation for much of the rioting is opportunistic looting, the motivation behind the New Black Panther Party fuels a bigger picture racial argument and seeks to dismantle public safety and infrastructure.  This type of potential attack is more likely to be deemed homegrown terrorism than much of the rioting that proceeded Brown’s death, which was more organic and reactive than predetermined and calculated.  The original Black Panther Party, which was formed to challenge police brutality, was influential in the widespread violence on Chicago’s west side following the death of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.  As mentioned before, fringe groups are drawn to settings of civil unrest because they use the existing tension to fuel their own agendas.

Response

            A major aspect of the response to the initial civil unrest in Ferguson was the Governor’s decision to request a state of emergency declaration.  On November 17, 2014, Jay Nixon officially signed a state of emergency declaration for Missouri.  Through the process outlined in the 1988 Stafford Act, Governor Nixon gained a number of federal resources including the ability to deploy the National Guard.  Historically, the National Guard has been instrumental in responding to states of civil unrest.  The 1919 race riots in Chicago resulted in 38 deaths and over 500 injuries before the National Guard was called in to dissolve the violence (Armstrong, 2014).  During the Chicago riots following the killing of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “3,000 Illinois National Guard troops arrived to back up police, who had no training for such a civic catastrophe” (Coates, 2014).  In the case of Ferguson, Governor Jay Nixon called in the Missouri National Guard preemptively expecting further acts of looting and violence to occur following the release of the Grand Jury’s decision.  The purpose of utilizing the National Guard is to pull Ferguson Police officers away from the front lines of response.  The initial response effort by local police forces to mobilize and employ riot control tactics was completely warranted, but they were not prepared to deal with the magnitude of the situation.  Similar to the riots following MLK’s assassination, initial efforts by the police merely provoked the crowds.

            Notably during the MLK riots, before the Illinois National Guard arrived, Mayor Richard J. Daley told police to, “ shoot to kill any arsonist or anyone with a Molotov cocktail in his hand . . . and . . . to shoot to maim or cripple anyone looting any stores in our city” (Coates, 2014).  Today, riot control tactics used by police are not as harsh as the former Mayor Daley suggested.  Tactics used by Ferguson police to disperse crowds included non-lethal rubber bullets and tear gas.  Lessons learned from past riot scenarios have shown that using live ammunition against crowds can have severe repercussions and fuel further distrust in government.  The 1919 Race Riots took place before non-lethal suppression methods became standard practice for riot control, and the city saw the deaths of 23 black and 15 white citizens before the National Guard was able to bring the chaos to a lull (Armstrong, 2014).

            Looking back at the damages suffered from the acute rioting in Ferguson, the recovery to follow will primarily deal with economic loss and physical damage to businesses.  Luckily no further death tolls accumulated resulting from the unrest in Ferguson.  The ability of the United States Government to limit further attrition rates when managing unrest presents a fundamental difference in the way that unrest is managed by governments in other countries which will be further addressed later in this work.

Recovery

            Recovering from the physical damages of the Ferguson riots is an ongoing process.  Many businesses were impacted by looting and structural damage, while others simply lost revenue due to the hostile setting surrounding their stores.  Governor Jay Nixon summed up the Ferguson recovery efforts in a positive light stating that, “Working together, we’ve made progress to bring peace to the streets of Ferguson … But when it comes to the broader effort to mend what has been broken and build a more just and prosperous future for this region, our work is just beginning and our commitment is long-term”  (Office of Governor Jay Nixon, 2014).

            One resource the state of Missouri has made available to the recovery efforts in Ferguson is the Small Business Relief Program.  Utilizing small business loans of up to 250,000 dollars, impacted businesses can apply to receive funds to help get themselves back on their feet.  “With support from a coalition of public and private sector organizations, the Small Business Relief Program will provide up to $1 million in support to businesses impacted by recent events to help them recover and grow their businesses.  The public-private partnership includes the State of Missouri, the St. Louis Regional Chamber, the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, North County Inc., and local lending institutions” (Office of Governor Jay Nixon, 2014).

            Tying back to the elements of a successful emergency management program outlined in NFPA 1600, Missouri’s commitment to the Small Business Relief Program is a good example of a successful mutual aid and assistance agreement.  The United States government has systems in place to expedite the recovery process which helps to regain the trust of its citizens.  Our constitution places the value of human life at the top of priorities when responding to crisis.  Some governments, for example the government of South Africa, have a different order of priorities which in some cases can place the value of a nation’s economy above the value of the life and safety of its citizens.

Marikana Miners Strike Background

            In August of 2012 platinum miners in South Africa, at the Marikana mine owned by Lonmin plc., which is a British company, listed on the London Stock Exchange, were preparing for their eighth day of protest over poor wages.  Reportedly, ten people made up of both miners and security forces were killed the preceding week (“Police fire on S Africa miners,” n.d.).  On August 16, 2012, 34 people were killed, 78 wounded and many more arrested in the confrontation now known as the Marikana Massacre.

            Following the massacre, a commission chaired by retired Judge Ian Farlam was established to investigate what really happened.  That commission was in place for more than 300 hundred days to figure out what really happened between August 8 – 16, 2012 at the Marikana mine.

            One of the many disturbing trends coming out of the commission’s report is that beyond the horrible tragedy of security members, police officers and miners being killed; suspicion that the decision to react with violence to stop the miner’s protests was politically or financially motivated.  The mining sector is important to the South African economy.  In 2012 it brought in $21bn, or 5.5% of GDP and 38% of all South African exports. (“South Africa,” n.d.) In 2012, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa stated: “As an indicator of the amount of money the mining sector makes in South Africa, Zuma told a trade union conference that strikes have cost South Africa nearly $563 million in lost gold and platinum production this year (“SOUTH AFRICA,” n.d.)”.

Response

            The response of the South African Government to this and other strikes is still under investigation.  After the Farlam Commission and the continued release of audio and video of the Marikana incident, a tragedy occurred of which the blame can be divided between more than miners and security forces but also Government and private interest.  The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) presented video, which showed that “Many [miners] were killed with headshots.  Strikers who had stopped in the face of the volley of police fire and adopted defensive stances were still shot at.  Many of the sixty or so TRT [tactical response team of the South African Police] members continued to shoot at the miners after 14 calls of cease-fire.” (“Marikana Commission: Police’s defence collapsing | Daily Maverick,” n.d.) Following the release of the (SAHRC) videos, Cees De Rover, a police expert brought in by the South African police as an expert witness to testify on their behalf at the Farlam Commission stated: “considering these points, the risk to life and economic impact involved, it would be difficult to accept there was no political influence in the decision for the police to go tactical on 16 August.” (“Marikana Commission: Police’s defence collapsing | Daily Maverick,” n.d.)  

Recovery

            The recovery is ongoing. There are currently still labor strikes and stoppages in the region, for example: “Amplats [Anglo American Platinum Company] said on Thursday that the strike and subsequent ramp up had resulted in production losses of 532 000 ounces, worth about $675m at current prices.  Impala Platinum, also hit by the strike, will give a production update next week but the combined industry losses are estimated to be at least 1.2 million ounces.” (“Marikana strike haunts SA economy,” n.d.)

Prevention

            Following the Marikana strike Lonmin plc., “agreed to a 11 to 22 percent hike in salaries – the largest ever negotiated increase in South Africa, but it is unclear if sub-contracted workers will also benefit (South Africa, n.d.).  It was hoped that post-apartheid the discrepancy between the wealthy elite and the working class would shrink or disappear. Unfortunately, that has not happened. By not taking advantage of this unique opportunity to resolve lasting tension the South African Government has likely lost their chance at making real change to prevent future labor related massacres.

            Despite the wage increase, unrest in the region and the industry is still an issue. Preventing future crises related to labor unrest has yet to be addressed. The ramifications of incidents like this are not confined to South Africa.  As stated in The NFPA 1600 Annex A section A.4.3.1, “All state and local emergency management entities report to a higher authority and might include governors, adjutant generals, chief law enforcement officers, county commissions, or city commissions, among others. These authorities set the agendas for emergency management activities” (“NFPA 1600: Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs, 2013 Edition,” n.d.)            

            If the community has lost its faith in the ability of their emergency managers, the frameworks set in place to successfully prepare, respond and recover from disasters are useless. Local, confined incidents of civil unrest may not require further evaluation, but when an incident or a chain of related events brings to light fundamental distrust in those tasked with not only responding to an emergency, but also those responsible for creating the response program, then the potential for the cascading negative consequences caused by the erosion of that communities trust in its government requires further assessment.

            When trust in a nation’s government has been previously established and maintained, response efforts to crisis are collaborative and fluent.  The following section of this paper discusses the attack on the Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma City.  Although the attack sprouted from one man’s distrust in government, the response illustrated a larger community of citizens eager to provide support to one another, which is an aspect of the “Whole Community Approach” to emergency management.

Oklahoma City Bombing Background

            At 9:02 on “that fateful day” of April 19,1995, as the tragedy is referred to in the Oklahoma City, 168 people were killed and 680 injured, in an event that would shock the United States and the world (CLINTON, 2010). At 6:30 on April 19, 1995, tables were set at the Myriad Convention Center expecting 1,500 community members to attend the Metro Prayer Breakfast. The title of the prayer breakfast, “Pray for Those in Authority”, would in an ironic turn of events never take place. At 7:00 am, the police and firefighters started their routine daily tasks, while the YMCA daycare center at the Murrah Federal building starts receiving the first children. A total of 53 children would be in the YMCA day care center, and 21 children at the America’s kids day care center at 09:00 am, and the Water Resources Board meeting starts for the Wikle family’s application. The Regency Tower apartments security camera captures a Ryder truck that carried the bomb in front of the Murrah Federal Building. At 9:02 the bomb explodes on the north side of the building, collapsing half of the building and destroying 9 other buildings in the area. A further 25 other structures in the vicinity are damaged in the blast. Across downtown Oklahoma a total of 312 buildings have shattered glass. Seismometers at Science Museum Oklahoma in Oklahoma City, 4.3 miles (6.9 km) away, and in Norman, Oklahoma, 16.1 miles (25.9 km) away, recorded the blast as measuring approximately 3.0 on the Richter scale (Holzer, 1996). The Water Resources Board meeting records the blast and the first moments afterwards. You can hear the screams of panic, confusion and distress in the room as people try to understand what had happened. News station helicopters circled the building reporting that it has collapsed. The graphic visual images of the scene draws national and international news attention and condolences start flowing in from every corner of the world. The event would dominate the world news for days to come.

Response

            Within an hour of the event food and water for the rescuers poured in from retailers who cleared their shelves donating work gloves, flashlights and batteries.  Volunteers offered anything from clothes, boots and wheelbarrows in astounding quantities. The Oklahoma Restaurant Association’s annual trade-show, which was scheduled at the Myriad Convention Center was cancelled immediately, but the equipment and food was delivered to help feed hundreds of rescue workers and volunteers.  People lined the streets to donate blood, telephone companies provided cell phones, clergy and mental health workers arrived at the scene to offer assistance.  The outpouring of assistance lasted for weeks and marked the beginning of the Oklahoma Standard which became the benchmark for which first responders are measured against in an emergency (OKOHS).

            Within minutes of the event, hundreds of injured people came from the bomb-ravaged building in all directions. Once EMSA medical professionals and technicians arrived at the scene, they moved quickly to remove debris and laid out clean sheets to establish a triage on the northwestern corner of the Murrah Federal building. Bandaged patients were asked to sit on the curb until critical patients were transported to the nearest hospital.

            According to police protocol, saving lives takes precedence over other duties, and over 150 police officers were deployed to the scene within minutes. Professional rescuers including fire, police and emergency personnel worked side by side to save lives. Hundreds of uniformed personnel would direct and participate in the rescue efforts. Around 10:00 am, the State Department of Civil Emergency Management asks the Oklahoma Fire Chief Gary Marrs if he wants Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) assistance, who responds that he wants every possible measure available to help. A call to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is made immediately following the Chief’s reply.

            The first video footage and media reports indicate a plane crash or gas explosion, but police and emergency personnel were able to detect the odor of ammonium nitrate used in homemade bombs.  Federal facilities throughout the United States were put on high alert and some were evacuated. The FBI assumed the lead in investigating the incident which was now considered a federal crime.  The Oklahoma City Police, Department, the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol joined numerous other local and state law enforcement agencies to assist in the investigation that ensues.

 

Recovery

            The 1995 Festival of the Arts attracts 750,000 people to Oklahoma City every April.  The proceeds from the event supports the Oklahoma City Arts Council, and virtually all art events in the city for the following year.  The Arts Festival would take place 7 blocks from the Murrah Federal Building. The Mid-Southwest Food Service Convention is underway at the Myriad Convention Center where 400 vendors are exhibiting their restaurant equipment and food products.

            After the bombing the Festival of the Arts cancelled its event despite that this may jeopardize the existence of the Arts’ Festival itself and all of the Oklahoma City art events for the following year.  The Mid-Southwest Food Service cancels its event and provides all equipment and food to the rescue operation and would continue to donate, along with 100’s of other private organizations, throughout the rescue and recovery operations.

            By 4 pm in the afternoon of April 19, 1995, President Clinton declared a federal emergency in Oklahoma City activating the Stafford Act (Winthrop, 1997). President Clinton was the first president to exercise a special provision contained in the emergency assistance subchapter of the Stafford Act, allowing a President to declare an emergency without requiring a request from the governor because the affected was one of which the United States exercises exclusive or preeminent responsibility and authority under the Constitution or United States law (Winthrop, 1997).

            The estimated damage assessment from the blast would eventually cost over $680 million according to the city’s Department of Public Works.  More than $40 million in donations that streamed into Oklahoma City in the days after the bombing to help the victims (Witt, 2005). According to the Office of Justice Programs, the creation of the Murrah Fund by the state legislature was necessary to allow the Oklahoma Crime Victim Compensation Program to accept public and private donations that would assist the victims and provide additional flexibility to the program to pay lost wages and cover grief counseling for family members of the victims.  In addition to using $129,363 in state funds to assist victims with medical and mental health expenses, funeral and burial costs, and lost wages, the compensation program received $100,000 in donated funds from the Iowa crime victim compensation program and supplemental federal grants totaling roughly $70,000 from OVC.  In total, the special Murrah Fund received more than $300,000 in funding to help compensate the bombing victims (U.S. Department of Justice, 2000).

Prevention

            Prior to the bombing “there was a sort of fever in America in the early 1990s” (CLINTON, 2010) characterized by a dramatic upheavals, increase and in gang activities and violence in cities.  The 90s marks the end of the Cold War era where old geographic grievances shifted and the American middle class was growing in strength and numbers.  The Berlin wall came down after a series of protests on 10 November 1989, on 11 February 1990 Nelson Mandela is released marking the beginning of the end of institutionalized racism in South Africa. In the United States, income inequality and longer work hours exacerbates stresses on households and the economy.  These stresses are a result of changes in old arrangements including removal of the gold standard in the early 70s, and the creation of central banking systems in the United States and the world. These factors contributed to public discontent, suspicion of authorities, and an unravelling of the American social fabric (CLINTON, 2010).  The public and media would use any event, in particular gang violence and inner city crime, to demonize government further.  The climate of discontent stemmed from the racial integration and economic equality agendas of the time, which has been a source of risk for decades.  It is not surprising that a new, and bitter hatred for government was taking hold within fringe groups.

            In the 90s hate groups existed in large numbers in the United States and across the world.  These groups were categorized as the Klu Klux Klan, Neo-Nazi’s, Skinheads, Christian Identity (racist and anti-Semitic doctrines) and the Black Separatists.  Leading up to the socioeconomic, political and racial divide which was reaching boiling point around the world, significant attention was now drawn to new religious movements (NRM) that sprang up during the “counter-culture” of the 60s and 70s, in virtually all countries around the world (Dorman, 2012). In 1994 in the United States, a watchdog began to monitor the patriot movement warning that hate groups who were armed to the teeth, spell a recipe for disaster.  During this time, watchdogs start categorizing the activities of hate groups, and includes marches, rallies, speeches, leaflets, publishing literature and engaging in criminal acts.  These groups were not limited to the United States. In Japan, the Tokyo “Subway Sarin Incident”, was an act of domestic terrorism perpetrated on March 20, 1995 in Tokyo, Japan by members of the religious movement Aum Shinrikyo (Dorman, 2012). Similarly, the Branch Davidians, a religious cult that was monitored in the United States on suspicion of weapons violations and operating a methamphetamine lab.  Subsequently their Mount Carmel location in Waco, Texas is raided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the National guard on 28 February 1993.  The incident would last for 51 days and left 76 people dead and dozens wounded in a fire of which the origin was never fully concluded. In the aftermath of the Waco incident, a Southern Methodist University (SMU) journalism student Michelle Rauch interviews a young man named Timothy McVeigh who tells her that “the government is greatly at fault in Waco, and has broken constitutional laws”.  Tim McVeigh further tells her that “The government is continually growing bigger and more powerful and people need to prepare to defend themselves against government control”.  Tim McVeigh warns that “[this] was just the beginning” and that Americans should watch for warning signs of government control. Michelle Rauch’s article appeared in the MSU’s The Daily Campus on March 30 1993.  The Oklahoma City Bombing would occur on April 19, 1995, nearly two years after the Waco incident at the hand of Timothy McVeigh in an act of bitter revenge against the 20 government agencies occupying the Murrah Federal building in downtown Oklahoma City.  The Murrah Federal building was considered so safe, that they only required the services of one security guard.  In hindsight, it would appear that the evidence, warnings and the motives could have been identified had the authorities implemented a structured approach to emergency and risk management effectively.  Threats and vulnerabilities of Federal facilities may have been identified in a continuous and structured risk assessment process, and security measures could have been taken or improved based on a rigorous risk assessment.

            The first version of the NFPA 1600 would only be published in 1995.  The NFPA 1600 would only be adopted in January 2004 following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The 9/11 Commission investigated the preparedness of private sector organizations and asked the American National Standards Institute to develop a consensus on a “National Standard for Preparedness” for the private sector.The 9/11 Commission formerly recommended the adoption and use of NFPA 1600 in Chapter 12 of the 9/11 Commission Report: “We endorse the American National Standards Institute’s recommended standard for private preparedness. We were encouraged by Secretary Tom Ridge’s praise of the standard, and urge the Department of Homeland Security to promote its adoption. We also encourage the insurance and credit-rating industries to look closely at a company’s compliance with the ANSI standard in assessing its insurability and creditworthiness. We believe that compliance with the standard should define the standard of care owed by a company to its employees and the public for legal purposes. Private-sector preparedness is not a luxury; it is a cost of doing business in the post-9/11 world. It is ignored at a tremendous potential cost in lives, money, and national security (Preparedness).

Conclusion

            Events occur when threats and hazards combine and form an effect that overcomes the vulnerabilities in any given context.  Patterns, like the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and Michael Brown are examples of completely unrelated events combining over a period of time, and igniting fires in a specific stakeholder population that may perceive themselves affected by these events, whether true or not.  Despite these events taking place years apart, the effect on the population compounds until it can no longer be contained.  It has now become a national event, involving all populations that perceive themselves to be affected by these discrete events, in every major city across the United States.  Even though there has been no real events indicating terrorism, it only takes one person to decide that they have waited long enough for fair treatment and justice, to plan an attack.

            In South Africa, the Marikana incident is only a minor speck on the timeline of injustice and violations of human rights.  The wage dispute of the Lonmin miners is a legacy issue from the years of economic and racial oppression that black native Africans have suffered under the colonial era mining magnates.  The Lonmin miners are striking against Lonmin, whose shareholders do not live in South Africa, but reap the benefits at the expense of the miners who earn low wages and live in squalor.  Commodity prices for platinum are set in London which significantly impacts the South African economy.  The Farlam commission who investigated the event, found that there was sufficient evidence to suggest that there is collusion between corrupt government officials and the mining companies.  As a result of the Marikana incident, a new threat emerged in the form of an aggressive political party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) led by Julius Malema.

            The chain of events leading to the protests in Ferguson and the rise of the New Black Panthers in their black berets, and the Marikana incident offering a springboard for the EFF in South Africa, sporting their bright red berets, should be a clear warning that trust in government is diminishing.  Historical information is an indicator and provides reliable inputs to predict future outcomes.  If we had effective processes in place to learn from past experiences, we would look back at the news report of Michelle Rauch where Timothy McVeigh warns the people that the government is taking control.  If we listen to the words of Julius Malema (EFF) and Hashim Nzinga (NBPP), we hear similar warning messages.  It almost seems certain that we can expect another terror event.  The threat can be identified, and its consequences can be lessened through rigorous risk assessment and hazards mitigation programs.  However, if government continues to fail, or avoid addressing the burning issues that these post-crisis organizations represent, either through mediation, reconciliatory agreements, or two-way stakeholder consultations, we may not be able to prevent the enemy within, homegrown terrorism.