PREP: Before the Protest
1. Make signs. Yes, plural (signs), if you can: fellow sign-less protesters will appreciate your extras.
2. Drink lots of water. Prepping with a lot of hydration will help you keep your voice, and keep your energy up.
3. Plan your exit. If you’re driving, park at least several blocks away from the protest.
4. Tell a friend who isn’t going. Let them know you’ll check in with them after, and give them an emergency contact number to reach out to if they don’t hear from you.
5. Write an emergency contact number on your body. If you’re arrested, this is the number you’re going to call.
6. Charge your cell phone, and be prepared for it not to work anyhow.
7. Download this App from the ACLU for your state, if available.
8. Know the local laws regarding protest. Or, at least, know them well enough to know if the planned action is fully lawful, iffy, or downright illegal.
ACTION: During the Protest
9. Go with a friend (or make a friend there). Keep an eye on one another, and watch one another’s backs.
10. Bring an external phone battery.
11. Wear comfy shoes. If you’ll be standing or walking, shirk fashion and go with comfort.
12. Bring/wear a mask. Wearing a bandanna or scarf will come in handy in the event of tear gas or pepper spray.
13. If you film/stream, try not to catch fellow protesters’ faces. If possible, do film any cops who are violating laws (see #7) or doing things that seem wrong (see #8).
14. Water makes pepper spray worse. Milk, vinegar, lemon juice, and other solvents will help.
RECOVERY: After the Protest
17. If you’re not safe and sound, ask for help. Depending on what’s happened, rely on your community, the fellow protesters, or your friends/family.
18. Share your experience! This will help increase the reach of the protest, and maybe inspire others to get involved.
Written by Esther Joseph, University Colleges Representative