If you’re planning to attend one of the #EndSARS protests around you and you don’t know how to prepare, here are a few tips:
1. Make signs.
More than one if you can. You can give it to sign-less protestors you meet, or your friends. They will appreciate your extras.
2. Plan your exit.
If you’re driving, park at least several blocks away from the protest. If you’re getting picked up, plan your ride beforehand. Make sure your ride is safe and shared with friends.
3. Tell a friend who isn’t going.
Let them know you’ll check in with them after a specific time, give them an emergency contact number to reach out to if they don’t hear from you. This could be a family member or guardian.
4. Drink lots of water.
The day before, and throughout the day of. Prepping with a lot of hydration will help you keep your voice, and keep your energy up.
5. Write an emergency contact number and blood type on your body.
If you’re arrested, this is the number you’re going to call. If you’re shot or injured, the medics can get your blood information easily. You can write the information on your leg with a marker.
6. Wear comfy clothes and shoes.
If you’ll be standing or walking, forget fashion and go with comfort.
7. If you film, try not to catch fellow protestors’ faces.
You can also blur faces in photos/videos after. This is IMPORTANT so that law enforcement officers can not trace anyone at any time. If possible, please film any police officers who are violating laws or doing things that seem wrong. This may not save the day but it’s better to have the record than not have it.
8. Water makes pepper spray worse.
So do contact lenses. If you get pepper-sprayed or tear-gassed by law enforcement, milk, vinegar, lemon juice, and other solvents will help. Just don’t use water. Or lotion.
9. Bring/wear a mask
At least something that fully covers your face area. A mask helps to cover your identity in videos (see #7). It is also necessary because of the COVID guidelines and can be useful in events of pepper spray or teargas.
10. If you’re not safe and sound, ask for help.
This applies to both physical injuries and trauma from events surrounding the protests and mental health issues. Depending on what’s happened, rely on your fellow protestors both online and offline, or your friends/family. Just don’t feel pressured to deal with whatever happened on your own.