We are in an unprecedented moment of mourning and rage against the police murders of George Floyd, of Breonna Taylor, of Tony McDade, and against the white supremacist murder of Ahmaud Arbery, seemingly all at once.
Electrified by the Minneapolis uprising, the world surges in protest–but at those protests, anti-Black state murder continues, most recently with the killing of David McAtee. Many people are currently risking their lives to join in resistance during a pandemic and a spate of militarized police violence across the U.S. Many are new to the struggle, and new complexities emerge daily.
We can all use some advice on how to keep ourselves safe and connected while participating in effective action in this unique and dangerous time. This guide is intended to offer just that.
In what follows, you will find:
- A guide to basic security protocols for first time protestors
- A checklist for things to do prior to going to a protest
- What to watch for to track police activity
- A breakdown of who’s on the streets
- A breakdown of street tactics
- Basic legal information
- Digital tips
- Struggle beyond the streets
Your friends at Abolition Journal
1. Assessing an Action Checklist, and Basic Security Protocols for First Time Protesters
From the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement.
2. Pre-Action Checklist
From Anti Police-Terror Project and Oakland Rising
These infographics were created in preparation for the “F**k Your Curfew” protest in Oakland on June 3rd, 2020, and they should be changed to suit your specific situation. For instance, the jail support form and the National Lawyer’s Guild phone number here are local. Build your networks and add your numbers!
3. Tips for Watching the State in the Streets!
These were made by Gina H, an attorney with the National Lawyers Guild.
They were written for Los Angeles, but are applicable all over!
4. Remember who’s out there!
5. Street Tactic Tips
Roll with a crew! Who keeps us safe? We keep us safe.
6. Gotta know your rights!
Check out the info provided by the Mass Defense Program from the National Lawyers Guild.
7. Tips for digital security
Here is some important advice from the Electron Frontier Foundation about attending a protest.
Here is some information on how to protect people when you take protest pictures.
Here is also some information of the importance of encryption and various communications platforms you can use.
8. Can’t get in the streets right now?
That’s cool – we know we’re united in our interconnected resistance.
Here’s a free document that offers “26 Ways to Be in the Struggle Beyond the Streets”.
And if you like what you read here–here’s some great protest advice from Teen Vogue! Be well out there, fam.