Protest Safety Tips

Jun 4, 2020

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Many in our community are out in the streets working for justice, and others are wondering how to start.

It’s important to be safe –– which means understanding the level of risk you are willing to put yourself through before you even leave your home. The Movement for Black Lives has suggestions we would like to share with you.

Taking action in a Pandemic –– We Keep Us Safe:

1. Get a Crew – Find a buddy or a group of folks to attend the action with. Make sure you maintain contact and check-in with each other throughout the action to make sure everyone is safe. 

2. Make a GO Kit – Make sure you have what you’ll need to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep you safe. bring a little more of these items than you think you’ll need! 

a. Face masks

b. Hand sanitizer and gloves

c. Milk bottles or Milk of Magnesia (Maalox) diluted into water, and bottles of water

d. Cotton balls soaked in vinegar and placed in a plastic bag

3. Create Action Agreements Before You Go – What is your crew willing to do and not do, when do you leave, what time, do you have a location outside of the protest zone to gather if you get dispersed?

4. Assess Risk Before You Commit (and make sure your crew does too!)

a. You are the only one who can determine what level of risk you will take in regards to COVID or risk during the action.

5. Avoid bringing Any Unnecessary Tech. Turn off your GPS – Don’t bring your phone if you don’t have to.

6. Memorize 1-2 numbers – It’s a good idea to write the numbers of jail support and a trusted friend on the inside of your forearm in marker.

7. Trust Your Gut – If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Find a safe space and connect with your crew immediately.

8. Got a Friend Who’s Always Right About People? Make them Your Vibes Watcher! – Organize with folks you know and trust. Never assign critical roles to folks you don’t know. Keep an eye out for folks looking to derail, disrupt, distract, and divide.

9. Try to maintain 6ft. of distance as often as possible, don’t be afraid to move away from the crowd or ask others to make space around you. 

10. If there’s a risk of arrest, share important personal details with a trusted offsite person – Give them your government name, date of birth, any medical needs or conditions, anything you’d need taken care of if you were held for longer than a few hours, a day, etc. 

a. If you are undocumented or not a citizen, know your immigration rights before joining an arrestable action. 

 People can get arrested during protests. To keep our movement strong, we support freeing them from incarceration so their family, work, and community are not hurt by their absence. We urge everybody to support bail funds if possible and continue to support the organizations that keep the movement strong. 

Bail Project
Action STL
Arch City Defenders
Minnesota Freedom Fund
St. Louis Jail and Legal Support

 In equality,