Protest Guidelines

7 Jul

To make sure everyone stays safe, knows their rights, and keeps their protest movement peaceful and non-violent, here’s a useful checklist.

  • DON’T litter. In fact, if you see trash, pick it up! There’s often a fine for littering.
  • DON’T indulge in any form of vandalism or anti-social behaviour.
  • DON’T block entrances or exits to buildings.
  • DO keep to the sidewalks and make sure that others can pass if they need to.
  • DON’T bring microphones, bullhorns, air horns, or electric instruments. If you need to be loud then use the people’s microphone.
  • DO look out for people who are getting too rowdy or violent. If you see one, politely but firmly encourage them to quiet down, or find your nearest peace keeper if you have them.
  • DO keep a buddy! You and your buddy will look out for each other, exchange names, contact details, any essential information such as who to contact in an emergency, or details of any medical needs. Never lose sight of your buddy.
  • If you see someone isolated please DO make them your buddy.
  • DON’T scream or swear at people; it will only antagonize them. You want them understanding, even admiring and  joining you.
  • On the other hand, please DO be as loud as you want.
  • DO bring your friends and family to peaceful events which affect everyone.
  • DO keep marshals, peacekeeping teams, medics and other protest organisers in sight.
  • DON’T get distracted from your mission. Remember why you protest.
  • DO have a plan – for how to get to a protest, where to meet up with others, what to do when you arrive, and how to get back home.
  • DO pay attention to your clothing, especially shoes, and to what personal or valuable items you take with you to a protest
  • DO know your rights. Do you have rights to free speech and to peaceful public assembly only under certain conditions?
  • DON’T assume you can door say  anything you want in the name of freedom of speech. Limit yourself to political speech, stay focused on your goals, and stay within the law.
  • DO take pictures and video! Photos of posters or banners that are used in similar protests elsewhere is a good way to show unity and strength of numbers.
  • DON’T respond to violence from police, security, thugs, interlopers or rivals with violence.
  • DO take photos of, and try to identify if possible, anyone using violence. but..
  • Whenever possible, DO give aid to victims as a FIRST PRIORITY, ahead of taking photos or video
  • DON’T let others escalate violence and DO protect each other.

Follow these tips if the worst happens. Remember, safety of yourself and others comes FIRST

  • If tear gas is deployed DO wet a sleeve or scarf with vinegar, cola, or any liquid you can find and breathe through it as a simple air filter while you leave the area as quickly and safely as possible.
  • If physically confronted DON’T fight back. Go limp and protect your core while shouting LOUDLY for help.
  • If you have asthma or a heart condition stay back. Keep your medicine on you. Stay safe!
  • Pepper spray or tear gas can send you into shock if you’re unprepared. If you’re sprayed DON’T panic. DO keep taking deep breaths of clean air and breathe out slowly. Be aware that it will hurt, a lot, but it will eventually feel better.
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