Every day, protests continue to take place across the United States, including Los Angeles. If you’ve been around the civic center in Downtown LA, Hollywood Boulevard, the mayor’s house in Wilshire, or plenty of other areas of the city, you know what we are talking about. These are important conversations that need to be had. However, it’s important to remember that there is still an ongoing pandemic and that it’s necessary to practice caution. There are ways to stay safe while walking around in reasonably large crowds. If you are planning to participate in the peaceful manifestations, here are a few tips for protesting safely.
- Stay clean – First of all, be sure to wash your hands before heading out. Subsequently, avoid touching your face, as well as surfaces that might be contaminated. Carry with you some hand sanitizer as a precaution, but still act like your hands are infected until you get to wash them properly again. If you wear gloves, even better, but avoid touching your phone, skin, and other belongings with them still on.
- Wear a mask – This should go without saying, but be sure to wear a mask when you go outside. Always. Be sure to only remove it if you are drinking water or eating a quick snack. Be careful not to touch your face when lowering your mask.
- Keep yourself replenished – As with any activity that requires a lot of marching and yelling, you are going to need some water. Be sure to keep yourself hydrated throughout and to have a few snacks. You don’t want to pass out in the middle of the march, do you? Feed yourself and drink plenty of water.
- Legal counsel – Protesting is protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution. However, the police are known to make arrests in these protests. Do your research on legal resources before heading out to protest. Have the contact information for a lawyer at hand, hopefully not on your phone, just in case. Carry a card or write the number on your hand.
- Solidarity – One of the core pillars of a protest is solidarity. This is, after all, why you are marching in the first place. In fact, many people go to the protests and offer snacks, water, and hand sanitizer to people for free. You don’t have to do this, but be sure to help others who need it, listen to the organizers, and allow the voices in the spotlight to speak. If something were to happen to you at the protest, you would want people to help you. If you see someone who needs help, try to do your best to help them!