One way I choose for my voice to be heard, and to let other’s know I hear their voices, too, is by attending protests. While protesting is certainly not for everyone and shouldn’t be the ONLY form of activist you participate in, it certainly is one way to garner media attention and make people take notice.
In the Facebook live video below, you may have guessed it from the photo above, yup – I got arrested. While civil disobedience is an important part of protesting, I just happened to be in the wrong place at the right time and in no way did I intentionally get arrested. This took place on November 10th, 2016 in DTLA. Watch for yourself:
Here’s the first part of that video, which isn’t quite as “sexy” as getting arrested:
Here are some helpful tips if you’re thinking about attending a protest:
- Buddy up! I never go to these things alone. Not only is it a good idea to have someone watching your back, but you can empower someone to be an activist by inviting them to attend with you!
- Wear closed-toed, comfortable shoes and long sleeves, long pants. You never know when you’ll have to run, or happen to fall.
- Bandanas can be useful to cover your mouth & nose in case of tear gas or dust.
- Document EVERYTHING & bring backup battery packs to charge your phone.
- If you’re going to be marching/ protesting in a downtown area or somewhere there’s a large population of homeless people, consider buying extra snacks to hand out to them as you pass them on the street. It’s pretty inconvenient to be homeless, ESPECIALLY when you have protesters being loud when you’re just trying to sleep. Lighten the burden a little.
- Bring your ID (in case you are detained or arrested; providing I.D. can get you released sooner) a flashlight and cash.
- Have a bail-out buddy. Let a friend know your intentions of protesting and write their phone number on your body somewhere it won’t rub off easily. If you get arrested your phone will be seized, but you’ll have their number on hand and someone to post your bail!
- And on that note – it might be handy to have an Attorney. Find a lawyer that specializes in civil rights cases and have a few business cards on hand.
- MILK is the best combatant for tear gas, so bring a small carton if you anticipate being at the frontline.
- If there’s a stampede, walk quickly in a diagonal in the opposite direction of the stampede (learned that one from Z, who covered the LA riots).
- LISTEN to police. If they’re telling you to move – MOVE. It’s not worth it. Stay OUT of jail and come back when it’s safe to do so.