There is a lot going on around the world and, there are moments when people peacefully assemble and form a protest. I recently attended a protest in Copley and felt that being with people who were fighting for the same cause was important. After my experience, here are my recommendations about protecting yourself should you attend a protest:
1) Bring someone with you just in case. You never how things might turn out. I personally was not able to bring someone, but it felt very important for me to go regardless of having no company. Therefore, I stayed to show my support but left sometime after. However, I think bringing someone along with you is important from a safety standpoint.
2) Make sure to have transportation available nearby at all times. The location of the protest I attended was near the train station, and this gave me a layer of security because I was able to exit the location and get to my home safely. Also, I opted for more public transportation, since this usually has more people around. There is strength in numbers.
4) Trust your instinct. In my experience, I decided to leave early as the night was quickly approaching. Staying as long as you feel comfortable is important. I chose to stay for the chants, prayer, and speech.
5) Let a friend know your location. Often we forget the importance of check-ins, but they are really important to just make sure that someone you trust knows where you are. My friend and I were texting often until I got home, which made me feel more at ease throughout the experience.
6) Lastly, make sure to stay alert while in the crowds. This is important for several reasons, such as avoiding being trampled, stepped on, or otherwise injured during a march or other movement. Additionally, keeping your personal belongings safe and using any self-defense items properly if necessary is important as well. For those who do not carry anything on their person, I would recommend keeping keys between your fingers in case you ever encounter an aggressive or hostile person.
It is your right to congregate and protest, so making sure you are able to present and exercise this right is essential.