Next time you’re inspecting a crowd for deteriorating activists consider your vantage point. Patrolling around the edges or standing amongst you comrades will only allow you to see a small portion of the crowd. Perhaps your time would be better invested in seeking some high ground from which to observe the surroundings.
A common opportunity is while a rally is passing or ascending stairs as is seen in this recent example from the March against Monsanto held at the State Library of Victoria. Witness the vigilance that a MelbSMC’er exudes from her vantage point. She’s like a well adjusted Batman.
You may also wish to perch above static gatherings. During large Occupy Melbourne general assemblies this proved to be a valuable method of spotting problems early and co-coordinating first-aid interventions for us.
When choosing your perch first consider your own safety. Swan diving from a traffic light onto a casualty is awesome but probably sub-optimally effective [randomised controlled trials not yet complete]. The danger of becoming an easy target for abuse from state or corporate agents must also be appreciated. Next consider the effort required to get to and from the perch; there’s no point spotting where you’re needed but not being able to get there in time. Finally make sure you won’t be leaving your post by perching; at some events you’ll be assigned a specific area to attend, make sure you can actually see it.