5 Things to Consider Before You Protest
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Politics and Activism

5 Things to Consider Before You Protest

Tips for a safe and successful protest.

5 Things to Consider Before You Protest

Since the murder of George Floyd on May 25, America has been swept with calls for reform within the police system. Thousands of Americans have since taken to the streets to protest the continuing systematic racism against African-Americans. In a democratic nation, it is important for citizens to continue to push for legislation that aligns with their values not only by attending protests, but also by signing petitions, contacting representatives, and voting in local, state, and federal elections. If you do choose to participate in a protest, remember to stay safe and peaceful — recent times have seen an escalation of violence during peaceful protests, often instigated by the police themselves. Here are some things to consider before you go out:

  1. Bring a sign if you can. Protest signs are not only inexpensive to create, but can also be extremely effective at catching attention. The purpose of a protest is to bring more attention to current pressing issues to push for progressive change; just bringing a sign with a few words scribbled on can tell onlookers and news outlets what you stand for — and what your representatives should be working towards.
  2. Wear a mask and stay socially distant. Just because a protest is a large gathering does not mean that it has to be a catalyst for viral transmission. Remember: COVID-19 is still very much rampant so make sure to continue abiding by CDC recommendations.
  3. Bring a first-aid kit. Even if a protest is meant to be peaceful, the situation can still escalate and become dangerous. The possibility of arrest also exists, so make sure to bring resources you might need if you are held for an extended period of time. For example, if you are female, consider bringing extra sanitary pads.
  4. Bring water and a couple of snacks. Protests can last for several hours, and it is important to stay hydrated and pack some extra fuel.
  5. Do not wear contact lenses. In the event that authorities use tear gas, particles can become trapped in the lenses and damage your eyes. Instead, opt for glasses and maybe even bring a pair of goggles.
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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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