A Guide to Protesting Safely and Effectively

From COVID-19 to legal rights to social media, here’s what you need to know to make your voice heard safely.

Are you heading to a protest? You’ll need more than just a sign. Check out these resources for how to protest safely and smartly.

The COVID-19 Threat

Public health officials have warned of the protests across the country setting off a second wave of COVID-19, so it’s important to consider the risk to yourself and those around you before you hit the streets. If you decide to go, Vice and Medium have both put together guides of steps to stay healthy while protesting during the pandemic. This viral Twitter thread put together by a nurse also gives some tips — including bringing an extra mask, gloves and hand sanitizer. 

Pack Your Protest Toolkit

Vice has a list of gear you should bring to a peaceful protest — including identification, cash and notecards with emergency contacts. YR Media, a network of young journalists and artists based in Oakland, has also provided a toolkit for navigating a protest — highlighting what you need to know beforehand, what to wear, what to bring and what to do while you’re there. 

A Marching Alternative: Social Media

If you’re concerned about getting yourself or others sick, social media is a great tool to promote, fundraise and signal boost. Maryville University has a guide for protesting on social media. 

Know Your Rights

The American Civil Liberties Union has a guide breaking down your right to assemble for those organizing protests, attending protests, taking pictures and videos at a protest or getting stopped by the police while protesting. They also have a detailed report on the danger of crowd-control weapons, including rubber bullets and tear gas, and a video about what to know about your rights during the current round of police protests.