Staying SAFE During Protests #BLM
When protesting, it's important to be safe, and these tips below can help you achieve that.
Knowing What to Bring / What Not to Bring
Knowing what to bring is essential when you are going to protest for your first time. Even if it isn't your first time, you shouls always be prepared by wearing the proper attire and carying only the essentials you'll need. Knowing what not to bring is just as important as knowing what to bring. Leave any unnecessary items ar home as they will add weight and you risk loosing the important items that you bring.
A Small Bag or Backpack
Make sure to have a small, sturdy backpack or bag to keep your things in. You want to make sure your hand are free and not preoccupied carrying any items. On top of sturdiness, make sure the zippers are working and accessible to you.
There's a good chance the protest will turn into a march. Even if it doesn't, it's important to keep hydrated when you're outside in the hot summer weather. Bring the biggest water botte that you can fit in your bag.
You’re probably in for a long day, so pack some lightweight snacks to avoid becoming hungry. Nutritious snacks that are high in protein are always a good idea.
Facemask and Hand Sanitizer
There's still a pandemic going on and even though you're outside, it is ideal to wear a mask. Wearing a mask not only protects you, but protects those around you. Remember the mask needs to cover both your mouth and nose to be effective. On top of that, there are many germs around you and you don't knwo what you're going to touch.
Phone and Portable Charger
It's always a good idea to bring a phone to keep in contact with others. Even if you're going alone and your phone is running low on power, you're going to need a way to charge your phone. That's where the power bank comes in. You don't want your phone dying in the middle of the day and no way to contact others.
Bringing your debit or credit card is risky. There will be many poeple at the protest and someone may steal it, or you might drop it and loose it. Instead, bring cash. Separate your bills by stashing some in you bag, and keeping some on you either in your she, in your pockets, or in an alternative secure spot.
Wearing the proper attire when going to a protest is a must. It’s a good idea to wear all black because it’s what the organizers of most solidarity protesters suggest. Wearing sturdy closed toe running shoes is non negotiable. On top of that, wearing sunglasses and a hat are a good idea due to the sun, but also to help you blend in.
Be Prepared... Know What to Do and What to Avoid
Before you go to a protest, there are many things you should do before heading out. There are many things you may need to prepare in advance. On top of that, you want to know what to do when you get there and what to avoid.
Educate Yourself and Get Into the Proper Mindset
It’s important to know what you’re protesting for or against. There’s nothing worse than going to a protest and asking someone what you are protesting for and to educate you. Just don’t. Do your part to educate yourself before you go out. Not just about the actions, but the context around them and the reasoning behind it. Mental preparation is also very important. Going to a protest may make you emotional. You may feel joy. You might cry. You might get scared. Most likely, you’ll feel all of the above so take the time to prepare yourself.
Know Your Rights
In Canada, it is entirely within your rights to peacefully associate and assemble in Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. On top of this right, there are many more rights we have as Canadians. It’s important to know your rights in the event you (or someone you know) end up in a situation where your rights may be violated.
Form a Group
If you can avoid it, try not to protest alone. Find other people who will come and protest with you. You want to have someone who is accountable for you, and someone you can be accountable for. When you go to a protest, there will be lots of people. Forming a group, or even going with one other person is ideal.
Plan and Decide on a Meeting Spot
Decide on a meeting spot in case you are separated from your group members for a certain amount of time. It’s also smart to have more than one meeting spot in case one of them are inaccessible. Don’t count on cell phones. You won’t necessarily hear your phone due to the amount of people surrounding you, or it may be dead.
Write Down Emergency Numbers
Again, if your phone dies, or if you end up losing it, you should have any and all emergency numbers written down. Either write them down on your arm, on a piece of paper, or both. Make sure everyone has each others numbers if you are protesting in a group.
Emergency Management & Training Inc.
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