11 Jun What to know and how to pack for a day of Protesting!
We see the overwhelming support for the Black Lives Matter movement as protesters are gathering in cities in all 50 states and in cities around the globe. What a revolutionary moment in time and in history! As emotions run high and you’re compelled to hit the streets with your fellow protesters, we want to make sure you are planning accordingly. Here is what you’ll need to know and pack for a day of peaceful protesting.
What to know before joining your fellow protesters?
Educate yourself before hitting the streets.
It is important to first note that, this movement is not about you or me, but about the countless black lives that have been lost due to police brutality and the broken justice system that feeds the perpetual cycle of unfair laws against minorities, most notably Black Americans. The system is broken, and there needs to be judicial reform at local and state levels in order to create change in which many Americans have been fighting for. If you’re interested in knowing more about the BLM movement, we suggest visiting their official website and social media pages to stay informed.
What to bring while out protesting?
It’s not officially summer but the heat index in Texas is reaching well into the 100’s. It’s important to always be prepared when outdoors, especially during the warm seasons and during a pandemic. Here’s what you’ll want to bring when you’re out protesting amongst your community.
A bag or backpack: Depending on how long you will be out protesting, the type of bag you choose will depend on the length of time you spend outside. We suggest something small to medium size that is lightweight with breathable material during the warm weather. A crossbody or mesh backpack would be our first option, however, a smaller option can be a fanny pack that offers just enough room your phone, wallet, and cash to have available if your needing to make a pit stop. Keep mind that this may not be an option if you are huddled in a crowd or due to store closures from COVID-19.
Drinks & Food: Hydrating will be the main source of concern while out during a protest. Bring plenty of water or beverage that contain electrolytes to keep from dehydrating. Be cautious of beverages that contain sugar, such as soda or juices that are high in fructose syrup. Beverages with a lot of sugar can reduce the amount of fluid that your body actually retains. Eating small meals with protein for energy will also be a good choice. Small snacks like granola bars, peanuts, and protein bars will help sustain energy while walking amongst the crowds. Avoid eating heavy meals like fast food, these will deplete your energy and leaving you feeling lethargic.
Personal items: Other essential items to take with you while protesting is your driver’s licenses or any other form of ID for others to identify you by if needed. This is a sensitive matter and you will not be alone on your activist mission. There will be police officers, and other security officials patrolling the streets in hopes to keep the peace amongst the crowds. If you happen to run into an emergency, you will be prepared with identification. Don’t forget to charge your phone and bring a portable charger to share your first-hand experience, as well as have it on hand if you need to make an emergency call.
Protective Gear: We are still in the midst of a pandemic and safe distancing is still recommended however with protesting crowds, this might be difficult to do. Be sure to have a face mask, face shield, or bandana to protect you and others from spreading the COVID-19 virus. Sanitizer is another essential protective barrier when amongst the crowds. Washing your hands is preferred however, more than likely you will not have the opportunity to do so and sanitizer will be the quickest option.
Appropriate Clothing: Check the weather and make sure you are wearing the best clothing for being outdoors. During the summer months, you’ll want to wear a tank top, t-shirt, shorts or yoga pants. We highly recommend wearing a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect your skin and your body from the sun rays. These items will also protect you from overheating resulting in experiencing heat exhaustion or a heat stroke.
Materials: Many protesters use posters, megaphones, or wear t-shirts to support and spread their message amongst the crowd, however it is not mandatory. If you do decide to bring a sign or a t-shirt, be sure it fits the cause and message for your purpose of supporting the movement. Make sure your information is updated and on topic with the Black Lives Matter coalition and with the overall protesting message. Know who you’re supporting and show your pride by walking peacefully with these materials.
Lastly, and most importantly, have a plan and be well educated before leaving your home to join your fellow protesters. Packing the essentials for a day, having an enter and exit strategy, and know what your out fighting for will ensure a safe peaceful protesting experience amongst your community.