Guidelines to Carry out a Peaceful Protest: 18 Pointers

In times of polarized politics, higher education institutions sometimes face serious risks from speakers or extremist groups coming to campus to create conflict, intimidate, or even incite violence. By preparing for protests on campus, you can help keep the community safe while allowing peaceful demonstrations and supporting civil discourse.

Image by DiplomatTesterMan via Wikimedia Commons

This guide details steps that the participants should take so they will be prepared when protests create a threat.

1. Always be dressed in an active gear and attire so that you can locate a safe space without difficulty and physically respond to any attack or violent situation.

2. Keep your phone cameras or recorders on whenever you find someone creating a violent situation in the protest.

3. Report to the nearest authority when you find anyone involved in a violent behaviour.

4. Try not to panic or respond to rumours unless the official handle of the protest organisers report about the events of the particular protest.

5. Try to wear puffer jackets and layer yourself with hard material so that you get less hurt if you are unfortunately stuck in a violent situation.

6. Women protestors can carry materials of self defence against goons who harass women.

7. Try to move in groups and make human chains.

8. Always inform and share your location with a trusted friend, family member or even social media.

9. Be acquainted with your rights related to protests on public and private spaces.

10. Keep in touch with lawyer friends and family in case you are wrongfully detained.

11. Carry torches (electric lamps) on night protests so that no one can take advantage of the situation by turning off the lights.

12. Keep first aid kits and basic medicines to help yourself and other around you if the situation turn violent.

13. Carry books as shields.

14. If possible carry an extra pair of thick socks. In the event of tear gas being released, socks can be used to cover mouths and noses. It will filter out some of the smoke. Else carry a pollution mask.

15. Never attack anyone. In case anyone attacks you, use better sense and distance yourself from that point to a safe place and complain about the same to the available nearest authority.

16. Only listen to your group leaders and do not get misled by people who you don’t know in the protest.

17. In case of violence immediately send voice notes, images, videos, and messages to individuals and groups across the city that can be forwarded to create public support and mobilisation.

18. Protect each other.

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