By Gamal Hennessy
Resisting the Trumpocalypse is going to take many months and require long term thinking. But before we get there, we have to get through this weekend.
A lot of people I know (and a lot of people around the country) are planning on protesting the Pretender in Chief, as part of the Women’s March on Washington, but even during a normal inauguration there practical concerns to deal with. So as a public service to the millions of people who read this page, please allow me to provide you with some helpful information*:
Trump has already inspired violence at his campaign rallies. Protests in Ferguson and Flint have created violent tensions. This weekend might continue the trend. The Committee to Protect Journalists have listed some safety guidelines in advance of the inauguration that are, like the Moscow Rules, applicable to everyone, including:
Ensure that you have a full battery on your mobile phone.
Get familiar with the area you are going to.
Work out in advance what you would do in an emergency.
Always try to stay with a friend
Wear clothing and footwear that allows you to move swiftly.
Plan an evacuation route as well an emergency rendezvous point if you are working with others.
Read body language to identify aggressors and avoid them whenever possible.
Trumpzilla may have already broken dozens of laws to help him get sworn in. We don’t have that luxury, but we do have rights of protest, assembly and free speech. The American Civil Liberties Union has a list of helpful questions and answers about what you can and can’t do during a protest on their website.
Bathrooms, Food and Phones
The Women’s March might be completely safe and without interference from law enforcement, but it’s still going to be a day of long lines, standing outside and a lot of waiting. You’re going to need to charge your phone, use the bathroom and eat. It’s best to bring the necessary accoutrements with you, but if you are going to DC, the Washingtonian has put together a list of places to help you live off the land for the day.
Back to Basics
Finally, if you need information about what you can bring, what to expect and how to get in and out of the area, the city of DC has put together this set of general rules and tips
Stay safe out there and let this protest inspire you to action.
Remember the Moscow Rules.
* This post focuses on DC, but the general advice is applicable to any protest in any city.