Define your freedom to protest and set yourself apart from violence

Anarchy’s proper place — handled and isolated

Unpredictability. Assumed insanity and rioting. Organized chaos in full irony. Taking a demonstration to its knees by creating a violent opinion. Fueling a mixture of emotions with a Molotov cocktail. Anarchist notions that create the opposing force Black Bloc have destroyed the message and replaced it with their own. That’s what works for them.

Difficult times are ahead for protesters and safety has become an overwhelming issue for demonstrations and local law enforcement alike. Law conscious organizers and participants have some choices to make about securing the well-being of the group. Tactics being used to create anarchy are physically and psychologically overwhelming and confusing. While dispersing is an option there is still an inevitable annihilation of the message and integrity of the protest. Demonstrators injected into a sudden chaos and forced to deal with the ensuing enforcement of order. What is the counter-tactic.

If local law asks you to leave an area — leave. You can come back on a stronger public platform with renewed ambition.

“Protesters appeared bored and when asked to make room, they complied, and then the protest was over.” — No media outlet ever

The media has your back. They will follow the protest to the highest levels providing it can stay out of the lowest messes.

Removing yourself from the equation without losing ground is easier said than done. Providing a majority of a protest stands down — well — sits down there is a fair chance that anarchy will point itself out with distinction.

Now, there are some common sense laws and codes of conduct you should know first before sharing safety procedure with your fellow demonstrators. Experienced organizers will cover a lot of the bases as well — but need to put attention on two very specific ones.

Good Samaritan Law

Become familiar with this for the region a demonstration is being held at. Know the provided rights and legal limits when it comes to helping others and offering protection. Always do what’s right — be armed with knowledge of this law and others like it regardless.

The Good Samaritan Law does not necissarily mean you have a Duty to Rescue — which doesn’t have as strong of a base in the U.S. as it once did.

In a community it’s your personal duty to rescue and provide protection. Know the local limits, personal limits, and those that are worth crossing.

Code and Conduct

Local code of conduct for campus demonstrations, public land demonstrations, and jurisdictional rights of local law enforcement are pretty darn important to get a grip on. Who knows — you may end up in a 6 month protest.

Photographer, writer, tech developer and outdoor enthusiast living in Eagle River, Alaska.

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