Resources for Protesters
The merits and effectiveness of protest as a form of activism are often debated. Here is a brief, introductory list of resources that give insight into the purpose, strengths, and limitations of protest.
- Untitled Speech - by Kimberly Latrice Jones, 2020 NAACP Image Award Nominee
- Transcript of Kimberly Latrice Jones' speech
- This Moment Has Been Co-opted - an interview Xavier Ramey, Chicago activist
- Why Damaging Property Isn’t the Same as “Violence” - by Nathan J Robinson
- What Protests Can (And Can't) Do - by Shom Mazumder, FiveThirtyEight
Get Tested for COVID
- Find a testing site near you at HHS.gov
- Follow the directions of Black grassroots organizers: They have been at this a long time and are disciplined in the ropes of community organizing and demonstration. It is a discipline. Follow trusted leaders whose goal has been the focused pursuit of justice. Do not show up unprepared. And do not follow someone who just showed up.
- Look out for things that don't seem right: There are increasing reports and investigations that white supremacists may be infiltrating protests, breaking windows, and destroying property. If anything seems off to you, document it. Always check who is organizing.
- Have a buddy: Always march with a partner and check in on each other.
- Be safe: More on this below. Wear a mask and gloves. Be prepared for tear gas. Have emergency contact numbers ready. Walk, don’t run.
- Take care of each other.
Do Bring and Wear
- Goggles/ sunglasses
- Hair tied up
- Nondescript solid colors
- Layered clothing
- Cash/ change
- First aid
- Ear plugs
- Protest Signs
- Emergency contact numbers written in Sharpie on your arm
Do NOT Bring or Wear
- Contact lenses
- Anything you don't want to be arrested with, e.g. substances, Rx drugs without original container
Before You Go
- Use the bathroom
- Let a loved one know where you will be
- Check that you have a mask on to protect yourself and your community. Covid-19 is still a problem throughout the United States and Black Americans have been disproportionately affected
- Turn off face/touch ID on phones and use a passcode to protect your identity in case your phone is taken
Dealing with Pepper Spray or Tear Gas
- Carry saline solutions or Liquid Antacids + Water mixed together (LAW)
- Milk is not a good substitute
- Flavored antacids are not a good substitute
- For skin: Use LAW mixtures where the gas or spray hits
- For eyes: DON’T pour LAW in. Use saline solution (e.g. contact lens solution) or water
- For respiration: Prevent injury with a bandana soaked in water and wrapped around your mouth and nose like a surgical mask
Use this growing national list of legal aid organizations to find an emergency legal help number for your city. If you are arrested and don’t have other contacts, call the emergency number with your legal name, time, and place of arrest.
To support protestors in New York, contact the District Attorneys of each borough to demand that they stop prosecuting protestors and stop prosecuting people in general - especially in the middle of a pandemic.
- Brooklyn County District: Eric Gonzalez
(718) 250-2202 // (718)-250-2340
- Bronx County District: Darcel D. Clark
- Manhattan County District: Cy Vance
- Nitin Savur (Executive ADA for Strategic Initiatives and Deputy Chief of Trial Division in the Manhattan DA’s office)
- Queens County District: Melinda Katz
(718) 286-6300 // (718)286-6000
- Staten Island District: Michael McMahon