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How to prepare for a protest

Updated: Oct 29, 2021

All art by Eden Greene

Eagle’s Scream is not responsible for any injury incurred by any person attending a protest.

1. Research:

It’s imperative that you are well-versed in how your protest will be run to avoid any surprises, and above all, stay safe. Research whether the city you are in has approved the demonstration you are attending, who the organizer(s) are, and whether the cause is one that you fully support before you attend.

2. Buddy System:

Bring a friend or go with a group of people you know. They can be helpful for documentation in the event of a medical emergency or if you or someone else gets arrested. Additionally, staying in contact with someone who is not going to the protest can help you escape a sticky situation (like the deployment of tear gas, arrests, or anything else that makes you feel uncomfortable), and aids your overall safety.

3. Supplies:

Don’t bring anything to a protest that you can’t lose. Wear shoes that are comfortable for walking long distances and running and clothing that is close enough to the skin that it can’t be easily grabbed (this applies to hair too). Bring enough water and snacks to sustain you and your group while walking, standing, and shouting for what may be hours. If you menstruate (or if someone in your group does), bring and wear menstrual pads instead of tampons. If you are arrested, you may not have an opportunity to switch out your menstrual product while in custody. You do not need to bring any kind of weapon to a protest, and you should be careful about which items you bring may be considered a weapon by the police. (This includes things that may appear safe, like the bottoms of signposts, which can be sharp.) Consider whether or not to bring a phone: It can be useful for communication and documentation, but can end up lost or damaged, and may be used to track you.

4. Tear gas:

Tear gas (referred to as a riot-control agent) is a non-lethal airborne chemical sometimes deployed by police on protesters that can irritate the skin and eyes. To avoid exposure, wear clothing that covers as