DO HEED INSTRUCTION
There are plenty of resources online regarding safety measures for all, including remembering to bring water – You will need it – You will be shouting. Hydration aside you will go hoarse. (shops may also be boarded up and there will be high demand for water and snacks so you may not get what you need) Tie your hair up, wear nondescript, comfortable close to the body clothing, obscure or cover tattoos DO NOT WEAR CONTACT LENSES.
BE A SHEILD
Use your privilege for good. The police are targeting POC – SHEILD THEM
REMEMBER WHY YOU’RE THERE
This is not Burning Man, Mad Max – Fury Road or a photo op. Taking face pics of yourself and those around you could prove detrimental and could lead to loss of jobs, police harassment and incrimination and incarceration. (And loss of the right to vote)
ACTUALLY BE AN ALLY
GOOD ALLIES STAND WITH AND DO NOT SPEAK FOR THE MARGINALISED. Listen, uplift and learn.
TRY NOT TO GO ALONE
Protests can go awry, with officers (ironically) using excessive force. It is important to look out for one another. Create a meeting point should you become separated. If you see someone not in your group in trouble: Help them!
If you can turn OFF your location. Film but do not go live on Instagram or any other platform. Report/Post after the fact. ( but remember to obscure faces, see above)
MAKE A SIGN
Be mindful of what you write. Veer away from the phrase ‘Racism is small dick energy’ and the likes. As funny as some people may find this statements this can appear loaded or dismissive.
So you’ve been to a protest: Your work is not done.
Attending any march or rally does not make you a good person. You are exercising your right. Allies don’t deserve a applause for human decency. Don’t expect any. You will get and say things wrong and that’s fine – that’s how learning works. Accept it, recalibrate and move forward. Remember: The wrong thing to say is nothing. Don’t forget why you were there. The fight is not over.
Text by: ..writing under the nom-de plume Magnetta Brightly, Natashia is a London-based art-writer with a background in fashion @magnettabrightly
Image by: Petra Erikkson