How to Prepare For a Protest

How to Prepare For a Protest

Safety advice, what to take and key dates…

If you’re heading to your first Black Lives Matters protest, it’s important to know what to take and how you need to prepare beforehand. Firstly, if you are a non-black person, we recommend reading this: how to make sure your allyship isn’t performative.

Coronavirus has not gone away

It’s necessary and integral we stand up for black lives. That’s without question. However, COVID-19 has not gone away, and people are still losing their lives to the virus. Public Health England disclosed a report detailing that the lives of ethnic minorities are being disproportionately lost to coronavirus, therefore when protesting, take a pair of goggles, mask and gloves in order to protect yourself and others.

What you’ll need to wear

As all protests are outside, it’s important you wear thin layers. This is preferably clothing of solid colours without any explicit labels that will make you recognisable.

Heat resistant gloves are a priority to wear during a protest, to protect yourself from any potential fires.

It’s also important you cover any tattoos you may have, as this can give away your identity and may harm your privacy both online and offline.

Hair is recommended to be tied up. Only wear comfortable shoes you can run in. Don’t forget your protective mask, gloves and goggles.

What you need to leave at home

Any external unnecessary accessories such as jewellery.

Anything you may get arrested for.

Contact lenses are recommended to be left at home as tear gas will irritate the lenses and further impair vision.

What to bring to a protest

Protests are long, difficult days. Uprooting the status quo isn’t supposed to be easy. Keeping that in mind, it’s important you bring only items that are essentials and will sustain an exhaustive day. Healthy snacks such as fruit that will keep you going as well as a bottle of water.

Though a small bottle of milk may have a cooling effect if you’re sprayed with tear gas, rinsing your eyes with clean water is best. Make sure you wear eye protection at all times.

For any injuries, a washcloth, bandages and first aid supplies should also be packed in your small backpack.

Wear and take sun protection.

Carry any essential medicine, for example, inhalers.

If you’re menstruating, it’s recommended you wear a pad or a cup instead of a tampon, in case toilets are not available nearby and to avoid toxic shock syndrome.

Remember to bring cash (in case your contactless is unavailable) and a form of identification as well as emergency contact details.

Things to remember

Always tell a loved one where you’re going.

Keep your friends and family updated on your whereabouts throughout the day (you may want to create a group chat).

If you can, protest with someone you know.

Do not further the danger of black lives when protesting. It’s important as allies to protect black lives during a protest.

Key dates in the UK

Monday, June 8th

Dublin – The Spire, 1pm

Wednesday, June 10th

Hull – Queens Gardens, 1pm

Saturday, June 13th

Reading – Town Hall, 12pm

Kings Lynn – Town Hall, 2pm

Key protests happening in the U.S.

As the protests are happening continuously in the US, this map of protests across the 50 states has been created in order to stand with black lives.

Other key information to know

What to do if exposed to tear gas 

What to do if wounded from tear gas, bullet wounds and pepper spray 

Essential information from Black Lives Matter

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