#1. Wear a backpack. This backpack is going to act as a shield, lessening the chances of getting injured with "non-lethal" rounds, by acting as padding. Partially fill your pack with light weight items you may need during your protest. Handouts, extra batteries for cameras, a bottle or two of drinking water, and other things of the like. Pack your items so that softer items are toward your person, and harder objects such as battery packs go toward the outside of the pack. Remember this is functioning as both easy carrying, and physical safety in mind.
#2. Carry some type of recording device. Be it Video or Sound, a recording device is your friend. The best way to keep an honest man honest, is to have a simple preventive measure easily seen.
#3. Have several escape routes. It is in your best interest to attend a protest with a group of people who all agree on a defined fleeing plan. Preferably with multiple vehicles. The reason for multiple vehicles, is so that at least 2 of them can be parked at least a half mile away, in opposite directions. A third vehicle is then used to convey closer to the event or location of protest. Remember your primary means of escape from an escalated environment, is going to be by foot. You can always return later to get the third vehicle.
#4. Keep the crowd around you calm. Some groups have been known to inject members of their group or organization into crowds with the sole intention of disrupting your event, and cause irreparable damage in the eyes of media. Quickly identify among your known associates suspicious behaviors, and remember to snap a picture or two of suspected infiltrators. You can then identify these people later for future reference or to show media outlets how a problem was instigated.
#5. Build a first aid kit. Your first aid kit is going to be different than usual ones. You are going to carry three bottles of distilled water, a cheap eye flush kit which is just a small plastic squeezable bottle with a short tube to direct water to the eyes, Rubber gloves to protect yourself from communicable diseases if you have to help someone who is injured, and then the normal things from a store bought first aid kit.
#6. Some sort of personal safety device. Key ring mace, handheld taser, or my favorite a device called a sap hat that is a simple weight attached inside a typical ball cap toward the rear that allows you to grab your hat bill and deliver a very hard blow to an assailant. There are a lot of predators out there in the world so always be prepared to protect yourself in some way. All it takes is to be separated from a crowd for a predator to place your life in danger.
If you have any tips to pass on please post them. The community needs to be better prepared.
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