Safety During Protest – Accessible Version

This is a screen-reader accessible version of Amnesty International’s Safety During Protest content, converted by Elizabeth McLain.

What to Do:

  • Plan ahead: For essential needs, care and supplies. Know what to expect. Know how to get assistance. Plan for how to re-contact your buddies if separated.
  • Be calm and focused: when things get most intense, react to danger or warning signs sooner, not later.
  • Watch for signs of physical and mental problems in yourself and others. Cool down others who exhibit panic behavior.
  • Document: film or write down police actions, brutality, and injuries.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t put vaseline, mineral oil, oil-based sunscreen or moisturizers on skin as they can trap chemicals.
  • Don’t wear contact lenses, which can trap irritating chemicals underneath.
  • Don’t wear things which can easily be grabbed (i.e., jewelry, ties, loose hair)
  • Don’t go alone, if you can help it – go with an affinity group or some friends who know you well.
  • Don’t forget to eat food and drink lots of water.

What to Bring:

  • Water in a plastic bottle with squirt top, to drink and to wash off your skin or eyes.
  • Energy snacks.
  • Identification and/or emergency contact information.
  • Enough money for pay-phone, food, transportation.
  • Watch, paper, pen for accurate documentation of events.
  • Inhaler, epipen, insulin & several days of prescription medication.
  • Menstrual pads. Avoid using tampons – if you’re arrested you may not have a chance to change.
  • Basic First Aid Kit
  • Wet Wipes and tissues

What to Wear:

  • Shatter resistant Swimming Goggles and an N95 Facemask
  • Comfortable protective shoes that you can run in.
  • Clothing covering all your skin to protect from sun and pepper spray exposure.
  • Shatter-resistant eye protection (i.e. sunglasses, swim goggles, or gas mask).
  • Bandana to cover nose and mouth soaked in water, lemon juice or vinegar, it can iad in breathing during chemical exposure.
  • Fresh clothes in plastic bag (in case yours get contaminated by chemical weapons)
  • A hat to protect you from the sun and from chemical weapons.

Dealing with Teargas:

  • Avoid use of oils & lotions because they can trap the chemicals and thereby prolong exposure.
  • Gas masks provide the best facial protection, if properly fitted and sealed. Alternatively, goggles, respirators, or a wet bandana over the nose & mouth will help
  • Stay Calm, Panicking increases the irritation. Breathe slowly and remember it is only temporary.
  • Blow your nose, rinse your mouth, cough & spit. Try not to swallow.
  • Wearing contacts, you must remove the lenses or get someone to remove them for you with Clean uncontaminated fingers. Destroy the lenses after exposure.
  • Do Not Rub It In.
  • Use an eye flush using a solution of half liquid antacid and half water. This only applies to aluminum hydroxide or magnesium hydroxide.

Know Your Rights:

  • Freedom of Expression and Assembly: Everyone has the right to carry their opinion to the streets.
  • Protection of the Right to Freedom of Assembly: Law enforcement must facilitate and not restrict a peaceful public assembly.
  • Freedom from excessive use of force: In the policing of non-violent protests, police must avoid the use of force.
  • Right to Medical Assistance: if you are injured you have a right to medical assistance without delay.
  • -Freedom from Arbitrary Arrest and Detention: if you are arrested you have a right to be told of the reason for your arrest, you also have the right promptly after your arrest to have access to a lawyer and to your family.
  • Right to Complain: If your rights have been violated you have a right to file a complaint and to be provided information on how to do so.

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