Protesting Safely: Essentials & Tips

The United States remains in a state of civil unrest (and rightly so). Following the verdict delivery in the Derek Chauvin case, police in Columbus Ohio shot and killed a 16 year old girl named Ma’Khia Bryant without any attempt to subdue her without deadly force. The continuous genocide of unarmed people of color must stop. We support the choice of the people to be heard through the mass protests occurring in the metro centers of our cities. To help do that safely, we want to join the resources offering tips to help you withstand long hours of protesting as well as methods of insuring your own safety.

Items to Bring With You to A Protest

Reusable Water Bottles

It’s not uncommon the city to shut down communal water fountains to prevent protesters from staying hydrated, in which case a water bottle becomes a requirement. Bring your own water and enough to last for the period of time you plan to be out.

Mask & Hand Sanitizer

Even outside of the fact we’re currently in a global pandemic, a mask is always a good idea for protests. Even a simple cloth mask can reduce the amount of chemicals inhaled should the police decide to use any gasses on the crowds. Hand sanitizer is great for keeping hands clean as well doubling as a deodorant if yours sweats off.

First Aid Supplies

These are essential to the safety of all, often in a protest Emergency Services cannot get to anyone injured quickly, A small First Aid kit can help in many ways.

Menstrual Cup or Menstrual Disc

It’s no secret that we are fans of these, but if you happen to be on your period as you protest, finding somewhere to use the restroom, let alone change your tampon, may not be possible. A menstrual cup or disc can be safely worn for 12 hours and handle the same amount of blood as 3-5 regular tampons.

Copies of All Information

In the case you should be arrested, you will need your own essential information as well as your legal Representatives information, The easiest way to keep this is to write it on your arm.

Your Phone

Keep your phone handy and ready to record any injustices you see, but be sure to disable location services and biometrics (use a passcode only). Often times in an arrest the police will bend the laws and force you to unlock your phone with biometrics. If they are disabled, this is not an option, Bonus points if you use a password that is a mixture of letters, symbols, and numbers as these are much more secure.

Shatter Resistant Goggles

While these may sound like overkill, trust when we say they are not. With pepper spray commonly used as a method of crowd control, these can save your eyes from a great deal of pain.

Hair Ties

Long hair can easily be pulled or grabbed in large crowds, tying it back is the safest method.

Snacks

Staying nourished is important, bring a few protein or snack bars to insure you don’t develop low blood pressure while protesting.

Sunscreen

Sunscreen is important if you’ll be exposed to the sun for an extended period of time.

General Tips For Safety

  • Be aware of your surroundings and attend with a friend if possible. Having a place to reconnect in the event you are separated is important, even if you have your phones. They can get lost and batteries do die.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothing that blends in (to make it harder to identify and single you out).
  • Avoid makeup and contact lenses if possible (chemicals can cling to these).
  • A backpacks is great to keep hands free and for carrying essentials, as well as an extra set of lightweight clothing in the event of chemical sprays.
  • Do not resist law-enforcement officers, take note of every civil liberty violation, and let your attorney know later; it is not safe to resist.

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Please remember to stay as safe as you can out there, and know your rights as a protestor. We know that so many of you care and are fighting to make a real change and we at Put A Cup In It wholeheartedly support you! If we have missed or overlooked something in this list, please feel free to add it and/or correct us in the comments below.

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