Protest Safety Tips
Updated: Jun 16
When most of us think of protests, what we actually picture are organized marches and rallies. These events are organized months in advance, permitted by the city, and generally peaceful. They have timetables, guest speakers, food vendors and restrooms. And they are all basically incapable of creating any change whatsoever.
Real protests are different. They are the manifestation of raw emotion coming out of a community screaming for justice. They are uncontrolled, unpredictable, and often violent. And they can be terrifying.
If you're going to hit the streets and fight for change, you're going to need more than a pink hat and an extra phone battery to protect you. Below is a list of tips I have gathered since this all began. It is by no means a comprehensive list, and if any of the information is incorrect I am happy to correct it. Please leave your own tips and resources in the comments. Let's do what we can to keep each other safe.
WHAT TO DO:
• PLAN AHEAD. Think about your essential needs and what supplies they require.
• Know what you're getting yourself into, and RESPECT THE SITUATION.
• Know how to get assistance - both legal and medical.
• Know how to get in touch with your group if you get separated.
• Have a backup plan in case your phone dies.
• Be calm and focussed when things get most intense.
• React to danger and warning signs sooner, not later, but do so calmly.
• Watch for signs of physical and mental problems in yourself and others.
• Cool down others who exhibit panic behavior before it escalates.
• Document police actions, brutality and injuries. Stream it. Film it. Take a pic. Write it down.
• Park away from the protest epicenter and walk to the active area. Remember where you parked.
WHAT NOT TO DO: