How to Protest Safely

If you are going to protest, please be safe.

We are living in unprecedented times. I keep saying that, thinking that each time things won’t get worse. And then boom, another apocalyptic event happens, and I have more to write about.

The #BlackLivesMatter protests have gone global, incited by the wrongful murder of George Floyd. People have taken to the streets in cities all over the world, some protesting peacefully, most met with the blunt force of militarized police battalions.

Protesting is a right granted to Americans by the constitution. And the police aren’t really making a great case for themselves, by subduing the protestors with lethal force, which is what these protests are about in the first place.

These protests are a call to arms for all Americans. We may not all be able to be on the front lines, but we can still support our right to protest. So if you are intending on going to a protest, here are a few guidelines on how to do so, safely.

Cover your Face and Eyes. COVID-19 is still very much a problem, and these protests are likely going to lead to another spike. If you attend, cover your mouth with a mask and your eyes with goggles. Given the rubber bullets flying around like UFOs (apparently), you should probably wear a helmet, too. Remember that just because we are all distracted, doesn’t mean COVID-19 magically disappeared.

READ MORE: How to Be a Good Ally

Use Signs or Noisemakers. Signs are a great way to get your point across, and noisemakers are better than yelling, since respiratory drops can spread COVID-19. Consider ways to make an impact without yelling, for everyone’s sake.

Bring a Buddy. Taking a buddy to the protest will help keep you safe. If one of you gets in trouble or detained, the other can help by filming the encounter, and contacting help if you end up arrested.

Bring Hand Sanitizer. You will likely be heading into a dense crowd of people, so chances are, you will be interacting with strangers. Hand sanitizer after every interaction is recommended. Maybe not realistic, but recommended.

Self-Quarantine afterwards. COVID-19 takes 7-14 days to incubate. It is VERY likely that these protests will lead to a second spike in infections. After attending a protest, you are encouraged to self-quarantine for 14 days to see if symptoms develop.

Donate to Protester’s Bail. If you aren’t able to attend an actual protest, you can donate to several funds that help bail protesters out of jail. Here are two options:

Sign Petitions. One small way you can help the protests involve signing petitions. It is the path of least resistance, but petitions can be helpful in terms of lending support to important causes.

Whether you decide to be on the front lines of the protests, or stay at home educating yourself and supporting in whatever way you can, your health and safety are still your number one priority.

Published by karenmsutton

HSS Orthopaedic surgeon in sports medicine | Mother of 4 amazing children | Team physician for USA Women's Lacrosse | ACL injury expert

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