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Going on a protest?

franza | 24.01.2011 18:43

brief advice on what to do before, during and after a protest. Includes the info in an 8 page pocket guide, to be printed 8-to-a-side, and folded up.



If you or a mate are arrested remember:
- Except for your name and address, say
NO COMMENT to ALL questions
- Don't use a duty solicitor. When in London,
people often ask for BINDMANS SOLICITORS or
another firm with experience helping protesters

What to wear
Even if you aren’t going to get up to anything the
more folk that mask up the better. This is a collective
movement: by masking up, you help protect the
people who are more anxious about their presence on
the demo. Stay masked up when arriving/leaving
actions, because cops and journalists never stop
taking pictures.
- Bland, darkish clothes make it harder to pick you
- Cheap clothes: swapping clothes during a demo
makes it almost impossible for the police to identity
people, so bring extras, and don't wear your favourite
- Cover your whole face apart from your eyes, not just
your chin and mouth. Strips of cloth work well, and
keep swapping them around!

Things to bring! : )
- Food & water
- Lots of layers (and an extra jumper)
- Legal number written on your arm
- Bust cards to hand out to other people
- A pencil and a notepad

Things NOT to bring :(
- ID. This includes your bank cards: bring cash instead
- you don't have to bring your phone: if you're
searched, the police might steal it! If you need a
phone, have one just for demonstrations with very few
numbers saved in it. If you do take your phone and it
has a camera...

Photograph with care!
Sticking photos and videos up on facebook and
youtube can be DANGEROUS. The cops trawl these
sites gathering info. Don't make it easy for them!

Buddy up
If you think you're up for an eventful day, it's best to
go with a small group you trust; a good size is
between 6-12 people. Keep an eye out for each other,
count up after police charges and arrange meeting
points if you get split up. Act as a thinking group:
everyone should know who is prepared for
confrontation or not. Stay in pairs, and always stick
with your buddy and look after each other!

Be prepared
If you're actually planning on getting arrested, make
sure your group has a legal observer around, and
make sure you know your rights.


Control the vibe
Containment tactics are meant to keep our spirits
down; similarly, police charges get a crowd angry. But
you help can decide how the crowd feels, rather than
the police. Mellow or fast music and chants help.
Decide together how you want to change the

Watch the police
Keep an eye on police movements. Usually you can
see when they are preparing to kettle, and that's the
time to break out and head somewhere else. Look for
the officers with brightly coloured shoulder pads or
helmets: where they point, that's where the police are
going to go next.

Police are only likely to get heavier. If someone is
getting nicked, if you can and are up for it, try and
grab them back off the police by pulling on the body
of your friend. If someone is rescued they should get
out of there and swap clothes with some mates.

Stick together and keep moving
Moving around and not staying in one place makes it
harder to kettle you. Stick with your group, and make
sure no one gets left behind.

Turn the kettle off!
Apart from being very boring and cold, containment
allows the police to control our movements, keep us
from spreading the action, and nick who they want. It
IS possible to break out of kettles if you are
determined and form a wedge. Forming a line by
linking your arms is the first step; the rest is wiggling,
with one part of the line driving forward.

Don't co-operate
You don’t need to cooperate with being
photographed. Put your head down, walk backwards,
let your hair hang forward etc. A collective united
response to attempts to get personal details and
images is best. You might be kept hanging about for a
while but in the end if there are enough people
resisting it may well work.

If assaulted
- Stay calm. Avoid escalating the situation and risking
finding yourself the one being done for assault.
- Make a mental note of the description of the person
who assaulted you and ideally their name/ID. Write it
all down AS SOON as practical.
- Don't forget to note down when and where it
- Look around to see who witnessed the assault. As
soon as practical, get their contact details and ask
them to write a brief statement about what they saw.
Especially look around for people with cameras who
may have footage/photos of the incident.
- If someone is injured: Find an Action Medic if you
can, and get to the nearest hospital asap.

If arrested:
Check out a bust card for full info but above all
- Except for your name and address, say
NO COMMENT to ALL questions & don't sign anything
- Don't use a duty solicitor. When in London, people
often recommend asking for BINDMANS SOLICITORS

Ditch the kit
Remember, if you've got anything on you which the
police might think is suspicious, be prepared to ditch
it if the police are doing stop and searches. You can
always beg/borrow more stuff: you can't get out of a
cell so easily. Get rid of any dodgy images or leaflets
as well.

- Be careful what you say to who. Admit any
involvement in anything dodgy ONLY to people you
really trust, and not where you might be overheard.

IF you fear you may be arrested
- Don't panic. Press photos are not conclusive
evidence, and just because the police have a photo of
you doesn’t mean they know who you are. ‘That isn’t
me’ has got many a person off before now.
- Don't hand yourself in. The police often use the
psychological pressure of knowing they have your
picture to persuade you to ‘come forward’. Unless
you have a very pressing reason to do otherwise, let
them come and find you, if they know who you are.
- Get rid of your clothes. There is no chance of
suggesting the person in the video is not you if the
clothes they are wearing have been found in your
wardrobe. Get rid of ALL clothes you were wearing at
the demo, including YOUR SHOES, your bag, and any
distinctive jewellery.
- Keep away from other demonstrations for a while.
The police will be on the look-out at other protests,
especially student ones, for people they have put on
their ‘wanted’ list. Keep a low profile.
- Change your appearance. Perhaps now is a good
time for that make-over. Get a haircut and colour,
grow a beard, wear glasses. It isn’t a guarantee, but
may help throw them off the scent.
- Keep your house clean. Get rid of spray cans, demo
related stuff, and dodgy texts / photos on your phone.
Don’t make life easy for them by having drugs,
weapons or anything illegal in the house.

Look after each other
After a long day's protesting, you need to look after
each other. Lots of people forget about this, but it's
really important.
- Talk about your experience: fighting the state ain't
easy! You've all gone through something really
- Get some sleep, relax, and know that there are
thousands of people inspired by what you and your
mates have done, and are ready to fill the gaps if
people need time out.



Display the following 2 comments

  1. addenda — anon
  2. And a map... — Stroppyoldgit