19 November 2011

How to Prepare for a Protest

My friend Margot sent me some of the below tips in an email (and I added a few of my own...). Proper prep is SMART for protests and can help you should you get in difficult situations.

--Assume subways may be closed at some point - it may take forever to get home, esp if there are barricades, street closures, etc.
--Bring pen and paper
--Charge up my cell phone, bring my charger with me
--Wear warm clothes, hat, gloves, possibly foldable umbrella, layers
--Eating before, and also, bring snacks (energy bars, sandwiches, something easy and portable)
--Let someone know where I am going so they can check on me and bail me out if I get into trouble
--Bring water
--Bring a bandana or scarf in case of pepper spray or tear gas, and sunglasses/glasses
--Bring ear plugs in case LRAD sound equipment is used against protesters (it is like pepper spray but it uses sound waves).
--Leave inessential items at home (I'll bring a small amount of money but not a lot, no credit cards, nothing I want to lose)
--Carry a bag that zippers up in case you are arrested and tossed around. Don't have a lot of things that could fall off you - loose scarves, etc. The cops will pull it off you and toss it on the ground.
--WRITE THE LAWYERS GUILD # ON MY BODY.  Here is the number:  212-679-6018
--Remain hyper alert. See where people are getting arrested, how the cops are acting, what is going on. Sometimes you can avoid getting arrested by simply stepping back.
--Smile. Dance. Sing. It helps diffuse the tension.
--Take photos of injustice and violence.
--Do not let them intimidate you. That is their goal. Do not shirk down.
--If someone heckles you, try not to get angry. Instead, respond to them with facts or sarcastic love.
--Wear comfortable shoes.

We may not wish to get arrested, but things are in chaos and it could happen whatever we wish.  So we should be prepared.  The cops will take all papers so you need the number on your skin.  If arrested, try to get your name to witnesses so they can give it to the Lawyers' Guild.  Keep your wits about you and spell out your name to witnesses.  Or take the names of anyone you witness getting arrested and call the Lawyers Guild. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Cherie:

You guide is totally awesome. The pepper spray can be very dangerous to the eyes. I bring plastic goggles and a bandanna. In the past, when I protested I wore shorts as part of my fashion statement plus you want to stay comfortable when you are moving.

I have never been arrested. I would be really scared. I am a really nice fragile person and I don't know if I would be pick on in jail. I try to avoid any confrontation. I am just there to help people out if they are injured or cheer people on if they are feeling down.

A march can take a life on its own. You have to see what the police are doing and avoid traps for mass arrests. Always be nice and polite. a first impression is important.