The group from my last post claims that they are carrying weapons because they believe that the police will not use less lethal force like tear gas on a crowd that contains people who are armed, because police do not want to begin a firefight. Here is the quote:

Rules of engagement for the police force are actually different now that we’re armed. They can’t openly fire into a crowd with people with AR’s or rifles because that would lead into a firefight. It’s a strategic thing that we do for our people, to be armed,

Make no mistake, he is banking on the fact that no one will dare oppose them for fear of getting in an active firefight. He knows that the police can’t risk that while there are large numbers of unarmed protesters in the crowd. He is essentially using the crowd as human shields. He is also standing there armed with an unloaded weapon.

If anything, these actions bring us closer to the mag dump that will start full on combat.