If you are planning on joining a protest in support of reproductive justice this weekend, or any protests in the future (we have a feeling there will be many over the next few months), here are some important things to keep in mind to keep yourself safe & able to protest effectively.
1. Go with people you know and always stick with a buddy.
Have a plan for where you will meet up in case you get separated from your group. Have a buddy who has the same expectations for the day as you-- will you show up in support & watch from afar? Do you want to be in the thick of it, leading the group? No matter your plans, have one person who is on the same page as you and stick together.
2. Wear comfortable clothes.
Looking cute is not the priority for a protest. Wear close toed shoes that you can comfortable walk in (or run, if necessary). Dress for the weather, and preferably in clothes without any identifying labels.
3. Pack water and snacks
Staying hydrated is key for a day of protesting. Eat beforehand-- you never know how your day will turn out and you want to make sure you have enough energy. Bring snacks that will keep you going all day long!
4. Don't take pictures of people at the protest
Although it is tempting to take a picture of the impressive turnout, the inspiring speakers, or your friends among the crowd, it's not always safe. Protestors captured on camera (especially if posted on social media) have been targeted and arrested or assaulted in the past. Protect your fellow protesters and keep their faces off your feed!
5. Trust your gut
Pay attention to your comfort level. If you don't like the way the protest is going, leave. It's always best to leave and wish you had stayed longer than stay and get caught up in a potentially dangerous situation.
6. Don't forget to make a sign!
Protests are powerful ways to show up for what you believe in. Show your support, go all out, and be inspired by the movement that you're part of. Every voice makes a difference, so make yours heard!