Attending Protests in the United States

With the black lives matter movement ramping up again in light of recent executive use of force concerns, Protests worldwide are more common than ever. In light of this, Spartan Scoop has reopened to bring you information on how to safely protest in the United States.

Protesting Dos and Don’ts

This list does not get into whether or not you should attend a protest, or the pros and cons of protesting in general. It simply outlines What you should and should not do if you personally choose to protest.

Do

  • Be fully present; now is not the time to be on your phone (see Phones) or chatting with your friends.
  • Pay close attention to organizers, sometimes protests need to move unexpectedly, so even if you think you know the outline for the day, things may change.
  • Document anything you feel isn’t right. (see Documenting) The only way to keep people informed about what is occurring at these protest is for them to be documented.

Don’t

  • Post to social media. Not only does this not contribute to the cause of a protest, but it can also be dangerous. There have been cases of mysterious deaths linked to posts from protesters.
  • Escalate the situation. Safe protesting is all about keeping tensions low, and even if you are the only one escalating a situation, the whole group can be punished.
  • Interact with press unless you are a person of color.. If questioned by press, direct them to a person of color.

What to bring

What to wear in missoula

  • A face-mask. Remember we are still in a pandemic.
  • Comfortable protective shoes
  • Nondescript clothing
  • A hat

If you are protesting somewhere other than Missoula please see this article from Huff-post.

Phones

As tempting as it may be to bring your phone and post to social media while you are there, it isn’t the best thing for the cause, and it can, in some cases be dangerous. Some say the safest thing would be to leave your phone home entirely, but this isn’t always correct. Having a way to contact others, as well as a way to document what you see (See Documenting) can be extremely important. Here is a list of preparations we recommend you take to make sure you are using your phone safely and appropriately.

  • Keep wifi and Mobile data off, in some cases these can be used by your opposition to delete, or “brick” (make unusable) your phone.
  • Make sure you have the charge to keep your phone online. You may need to call someone, and having a dead phone is a liability, not an asset.
  • Keep rolling. If something happens to you by surprise, it’s better to catch it than not to.
  • Do not post any plans online once a protest has started. Police moniter social media channels for planned escape route of protesters.
  • Draw attention to what you want to see. If you see people looting, but that’s not how you want protesters to act, don’t draw attention to it.

These are all guidelines for civil protesters using their phones, If you intend to go to a protest as press, these guidelines may or may not apply to you, for more information, see Documenting.

Documenting

Documenting is one of the most important parts of the protests that are going on currently. As a protester you should document anything you see that makes you feel uneasy. The most important question you need to ask yourself before documenting is:

Am I press?

not only can pretending to be a member of the press endanger you, it can give actual press organizations a bad name. If you do intend to attend as press, there will be an commingling article on how to attend a protest as press, but if you are attending as a protester here is some good resources for you.

What To Do With Recordings

Just because you are the one who caught something amazing on tape, doesn’t mean you need to take credit for it. There are many organizations who are willing to take the personal danger of being someone with information, and are dedicated to keeping your anonymity. Posting your own videos online can be dangerous to you if someone who didn’t what what you recorded to get out finds out who you are. Here is a list of resources you can use to disseminate information without endangering yourself.

  1. You can email the sentinel student body of information at sentinelcqb@protonmail.com They will make sure your info gets out.
  2. You can contact Diverce City
  3. You can send information the the Associated press
  4. You can email any information to any news source you trust.

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