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Black Lives Matter Resource Guide: Resources for Protesters

The Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law Legal Research Center is putting together action steps and resources for any and all to connect with their communities and protect and assist people of color.

Tips

  • Tell a friend or family member who will not be there when and where you are going. Give them a time to check in on you if they have not heard from you.
  • Bring water and bring extra, for yourself and anyone who may need it. Hydration, sure, but it's also good for tear gas.
  • Bring snacks, perhaps something with electrolytes or just an energy booster. Bring extra if you can for someone in need.
  • Bring sunscreen.
  • Bring a first aid kit for yourself or for others in need.
  • Consider writing an emergency contact on your body in permanent marker. You may lose your phone, perhaps you faint, or something else happens. These are dangerous times. Be prepared.
  • Wear a mask. Any and all PPE are strongly recommended.
  • Bring hand sanitizer. Gloves might not be a bad idea for a variety of reasons. 
  • Keep social distance if possible. If not, consider staying to the sides or fringes of the march or protest.
  • Plan multiple routes to arrive and leave the protest. The situation can change as police close down and reroute the flow of traffic and protestors.
  • Do NOT go alone. Travel with a group, try not to get separated, and establish meeting locations both at and away from the protest if separated.
  • Plan an exit strategy. Things can get dangerous. Be aware of your surroundings, stay in the present moment, and try to imagine your safest immediate action should you need to vacate an area quickly.
  • Look for the helpers, and be one yourself. Check on strangers who seem distressed, fatigued, perhaps are winded or hurt.
  • Be kind to each other. A protest is led by example, and energy is contagious. Keep and send out positive vibes toward your fellow protestors.
  • Street Medics/Nurses should wear scrubs, colorful clothing, or signage that identifies you as such. Same goes for those with any kind of supplies.

For a more thorough guide, we recommend reading the Advice for a New Protester guide that a Philadelphia resident and activist with the Earth Quaker Action Team was willing to share with us.

See the Emergency Supplies box at the bottom of the page for more emergency preparedness.

Before attending any protests, we strongly suggest that you know your rights and consider these tips to protect your digital privacy.

What to do if you are arrested at a Philly protest, including information from Professor Rachel Lopez.

 

Finally, check out Philly Protest for information about recently posted and ongoing protests in and around Philadelphia.

Documentation and Protecting Identities

Communication

Amnesty International Infographic

Amnesty International USA on Twitter: "Getting ready for ...

ACLU Mobile Justice App

ACLU's Mobile Justice PA app enables users to record, witness, and report interactions with law enforcement in public. The app also includes information about individuals’ rights. Videos captured on the Mobile Justice app will be automatically transmitted to the ACLU-PA and preserved, even if the user’s phone is seized or destroyed or the video is deleted from the phone. A copy of the video will also be saved locally on the user’s phone.

The functions of the app include:

  • Record, which allows individuals to capture exchanges with police officers and other law enforcement officials in public places in audio and video files that are automatically sent to the ACLU-PA;
  • Witness, which sends out an alert to anyone with the app, giving them the option to go to the location and document the encounter when police stop someone;
  • Report, which allows the app user to complete an incident report and send it directly to the ACLU for review; and
  • Know Your Rights, which provides an overview of individuals’ rights when stopped by the police.

A number of other states also have Mobile Justice apps.

Attending Protests

Emergency Supplies

How to Prepare and Protect Yourself Against Tear Gas. Gas masks if you can afford them. Goggles and dust masks if you cannot.

How to Prepare and Protect Yourself from Pepper Spray. LOTS of cold water in the eyes. Milk will only treat burning, not reduce the oil.

Borrow from the Hong Kong protest playbook. Contain or deter riot agents with umbrellas, traffic cones, leafblowers.

Monitoring Police Scanners

While use of force by PPD is now to be broadcasted live rather than in their paperwork after the fact, this policy was only adapted after using riot control agents on peaceful protestors without provocation this week.* Please keep in mind that on the evening of the day this policy change was made, the PPD either took their digital scanner feeds offline or had some technical difficulties for several hours.* This is to say that the digital scanner feeds may not always be an accessible resource. Perhaps that will be subject to change in the future.

 

*Anyone who has questions about either of these claims can direct them to Rob Irving at rci28@drexel.edu.