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What to bring to a protest: (with posters)

If you are heading to your first protest here's a few tips on what to bring. (plus 60+ easy to print protest posters)

What to bring to a protest:

As a protester, there are a few things one can bring to an action to ensure safety and preparation. The following is a list of general items a protester should have on their person.

  • A sign or poster.
    • Poster board works well. For a more durable sign use plastic 'cardboard'.
    • Attach the sign to a thin wooden dowel if you'd like. Use tape as the police may make you remove the dowel.
    • Make the lettering large and easy to read from a distance.
    • Bring an extra sign if you can. It's always great to share.
  • Important Telephone Numbers (family, bail, lawyer)
  • Drinking Water (always helpful for the voice and the heat)
  • Money for phones, food, taxi, etc.
  • Pad and Paper to exchange contact information.
  • Map or familiarity of the area
  • Rain jacket or umbrella
  • Spare Clothes in sealed bag

Optional Items

  • Cell Phone
  • Snack food - nourishment (apples, candy bar)
  • Sun glasses
  • Camera

Mandatory Items

  • Friends, co-workers, relatives. Numbers make an impact.

Free Protest Posters

If you are thinking about going to a protest this weekend I've designed a large collection of signs for you to use. If you have the Flash 6 plug-in then you will be able to view and print any of 60+ protest posters on your home or office printer.

Just use this link: Insta-Protest.

Please feel free to pass on this link.

also 23.Mar.2003 00:13


wine, marijuana, goggles, bandana, apple cider vinegar, plastic shield, maalox, and a helmet

yes 23.Mar.2003 00:54


I agree with the above, aside from the wine and weed :)

the cops' biggest crowd-dispersal tactic is fear.

stay calm, no matter what happens. this will help others stay calm, people who are at a protest for the first time, people who freak out easily.

wear a mask. this is not a cowardly stupid fashion statement, gawdamnit. this makes everyone anonymous, so they cannot target you and arrest you, taking you to jail all by yourself. also, they will not remember your face the next time you show up to a rally. makes you feel safer in general.(exception- if you are the only one wearing a mask, they will target you. it has to be a group thing.)

bring extra hat, hoodie, etc. change appearance when necessary.

goggles are awesome- police pepper spray at random and unpredictably- even if you are not up in their face.

cops routinely try to split up the crowd, and trap the crowd. do not be afraid of the cops. call their bluff. being prepared helps you stay calm & be brave.

form an affinity group with friends. watch each other's backs.

tolerate a diversity of tactics. everyone has a different idea of effective protest. it's all speculation anyway, there's no revolution yet!

and finally, be brave, be brave- we act because we are filled with passion but the cops just act to get paid.

Other helpful ideas 23.Mar.2003 01:48


I say no booze or weed, just because that gives the cops a reason to mess with you. Save it for when you are released from jail and safe at home.

Yes, yes, yes, wear a mask or bandanna. In addition to keeping the cops from recognizing you on site, did you know they always videotape? Not the newsmedia, the cops. I have always seen a cop with a "camcorder-on-a-stick" circling the crowd like a vulture at nearly every stationary protest I have attended. They review these tapes later, and it's better to be an anonymous human with a bandanna covering your face than showing off your own personal "look." Also, do not wear your favorite clothing. You may be pepper-sprayed or have to dive into the bushes to hide.

A word for those protesters with allergies or asthma- bring your inhaler or epipen or any emergency supplies to ward off a sudden allergy or asthma attack. Let the people you are with know where you are holding your inhaler so they can help you if you need to use it. Pepper spray can rip your lungs, and if your lungs are already compromised it can mean some bad news. Same for people on heart medication. Better safe than sorry when the cops start firing their rubber bullets and hosing the crowd with caustic liquid. Keep yourself safe, help people if they fall down, because solidarity is key.