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Information For Protestors

IntronIAs a protester, one should always be aware of the dangers, both medical and otherwise, present at any demonstration. This page deals mostly with preparing for medical emergencies at a protest, and medical safety. The links page, however has many links to help protesters deal with non-medical dangers.

SummarynIThe following table contains quick links to all of the dangers a protester should be aware of before going to a protest. Each subject contains general information, preventative measures, signs and symptoms, and links to the treatment page. The general section just below the table gives information about general safety issues a protestor should bear in mind during a protest.

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General Safety


PLAN AHEAD: For essential needs, care & supplies. Know what to expect. Know how to get assistance. How to re-contact your buddies if separated.
ATTITUDE: You are powerful. You can easily withstand most of what the police throw at you, and you are a warrior for justice. Remember, pain is only temporary, and we are extremely strong.
THE #1 WEAPON OF THE POLICE IS FEAR. Once you control that, tear gas, pepper spray, plastic bullets and other police tactics are easily manageable.
COMMON SENSE: Keep your wits, assess what is going down and what needs to be done.
BE CALM & FOCUSED when things get most intense. React to danger or warning signs sooner - not later. Watch for signs of physical and mental problems in yourself and others. Cool down others who exhibit panic behavior.
BEWARE OF RUMORS: They are usually false, and foster fear & disruption. Deal with the known truth.
DOCUMENT police actions, brutality & injuries.
ANGER Intense anger is quite common with pepper spray, and can be useful if you are prepared and able to focus it. Maybe you can use your anger to motivate you to recover faster and get back in the action again. Maybe it will provide you with energy to get out to a safe space.


Always know where a safe space is to treat yourselves, others and to get away from immediate dangers. Ask other to help create a safe zone around a treatment area. Prevent undercover photographers from filming the injured. A safe space is what you make of it & they can change. It can be a doorway, park, alley, or on the front lines in the arms of your comrades.


How To Dress

As a protester a number of simple steps can help greatly in combatting the effeciency of a chemical weapon's ability to harm you. The following are a list of general guidelines, followed by a complete list of clothing items to bring.
Cover up as much as possible to protect skin from tear gas or pepper spray exposure.
Wear clinched wrist and ankle clothing.
Avoid cotton and wool as outside layers, which are fuzzy and absorb chemicals.
Wash clothes in a non-detergent soap several times. This is because detergents enhance the effects of the chemicals on one's skin. Castille (or vegetable) soap works best and can be found at any pharmacy.
Wash yourself with castille soap before the protest.
Wear rain gear as an outer layer. This ensures maximum protection against chemicals contacting your skin. There is a trade-off here between comfort and protection.

Do Not Wear:

Piercings, jewellery, ties, or anything else that can be grabbed by the police. Some piercings may be taped over.
Contact Lenses as chemicals can get trapped between them & eyes. May cause damage.

The following is a list of clothing a protester should bring to a demo
  • Rain Pants
  • Rain Coat, Pants and Hat
  • Gloves
  • Comfortable & dry shoes, running shoes or Steel Toed Boots
  • Helmets
  • Padded Pants, or Goalie Pads for sit-downs.
  • Castille Soap
  • Sealed Goggles, Safety Glasses (swim or ski, shatter-proof if chance of plastic bullets)
  • Gas Mask, Face Filter, Respirator or Bandana soaked in apple cider venegar
  • Spare Clothes in sealed bag


What to Bring

As a protester, there are a few things one can bring to an action to ensure safety and preparation. A more complete list of medical supplies is available on the First Aid Reference page. The following is a list of general items a protester should have on their person.

  • Important Telephone Numbers (careful if arrested)
  • Energy Bars
  • Drinking Water (2 L a day)
  • Money for phones, food, taxi, etc.
  • Pad and Paper
  • Map
  • Spare Clothes in sealed bag
  • Optional Items
  • Two-Way Radio
  • Compass
  • Cell Phone
  • Flashlight
  • Blanket/Sleeping bag
  • Fanny Pack
  • Knife or Scissors (careful--cops may consider these weapons)
  • First Aid Kit


Medics Standard First Aid Kit

The portable first aid kit could mean the difference between a minor injury and a desperate situation spiraling out of control.Those items with a star are not necessary for a good first aid kit. Only bring Items you can safely and effectively use.

Items marked with a star (*) are optional.
  • Emergency Telephone Numbers list*
  • Sterile guze pads
  • Adhesive tape
  • Triangular bandages
  • Adhesive bandages*
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers*
  • Safety pins
  • Ice pack
  • Latex gloves
  • Flashlight*
  • Antiseptic
  • Pencil and Pad*
  • Emergency Blanket
  • Syrup or ipecac*
  • Eye Patches*
  • Thermometer*
  • First Aid Manual


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