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    Canada Avalon Member Fellow Aspirant's Avatar
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    Default Advice For Street Protesters

    This post contains advice about how to organize and hold a peaceful protest in America. I think it might be useful for some members who might want to "take it to the streets". The writer is a police officer who has been involved in street protests and is offering his take on how to go about such actions. He seems sincere in his desire to educate the public about what to do and what not to do to avoid physical punishment at the hands of the authorities.

    Of course, things can go sideways pretty quickly, in spite of civilians doing everything "right" but this gives a good indication, I think, of how police will/should conduct themselves. At least those who abide by the law.

    The link is to the original post on a site called "imgur". It has lots of Gifs with it that show some protests gone wrong.

    Some Protest Advice


    "Some of you might remember me as the cop who explained the UC Davis incident. With the escalation of protests in the United States since the inauguration of President Trump, I thought it would be important to explain your rights during a rally, protest, or even riot, and what the consequences might be. Keep in mind, each state has slightly different laws, and this information might not be valid in your location. You are responsible for further research, but if you tell me your state, I can help you find good information.

    The FIRST amendment of the US Constitution is "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech... or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." The key word in this is "peaceably." You can generally hand out fliers on public property, like sidewalks or parks, chant slogans and hold signs. You cannot obstruct roads or property, harrass people, or force them to take stickers, decals, or papers from you.

    When organizing a protest, one of the most important things to do is get a permit to assemble. This can get you approved to march in streets, and gives your protest more legitimacy. You can find what your state requires, as well as the laws on illegal assembly, here: https://civilrights.findlaw.com/enfo...-by-state.html

    In some states, counties, or cities, there might be laws against loitering, which can make it illegal to be in a public place while masked, or illegal to occupy a sidewalk in a manner that blocks or obstructs foot traffic. Always remember to look into the city, county, and state laws. Also keep in mind that there might be laws against disorderly conduct, which can include statements or actions that might incite violence. If your protest has chanted slogans or signs containing slurs, swears, or threats, it might be enough to shut the protest down. The moment anyone in your protest gets violent, the police can classify it as a riot, and take action against it.

    If the police come out to shut the protest down, your permit does not protect you from being arrested. It may, however, help you in court. If the police arrive and ask to see a permit, show them. If riot police arrive, it's time to leave. The moment riot police arrive, your protest is over, and you should consider your permit revoked. All special statuses or privileges granted by the permit are no longer valid. Do not get close to riot police, or they may grab you and arrest you. Do not attempt to reason with them. It won't work, and will only get you close enough to be arrested. Anything that you have on your person at the time of your arrest can be used as evidence of criminal activity. Do not bring drugs, alcohol, knives, or other contraband to a protest. If violence or vandalism begins, your continued involvement with the riot makes you complicit in the actions of the group, regardless of your actions as an individual.

    The tools that are frequently used by riot police include Tear Gas/CS Gas, rubber bullets, pepperball rounds, beanbag rounds OC Spray, batons, fire hoses, and flashbangs. These are used as tools to encourage dispersement. I've been exposed to CS Gas for training. It's uncomfortable, but not the worst thing I've experienced. The worst thing I've experienced was OC Spray. If you have the option of leaving or being sprayed, I highly recommend leaving. If you decide to stay and participate in the riot, that is a choice you have made, and you are subject to the consequences of that choice.

    A question I hear a lot is, "Isn't the use of gas illegal under the Geneva Convention?" Short answer, no. Long answer, you're protesting, not invading a country. Unless you are at war, the Geneva Convention doesn't apply. Additionally, the United Stated maintains that CS Gas and OC Spray only have transient effects. Their effects are not permanent, unless you have unrelated breathing issues. If you have asthma or similar problems, a protest is a dangerous place to be, and it is your fault, not the fault of police, if you choose to endanger yourself.

    Hopefully this helps. There's still a lot of information to be found on the internet. If you want to ask me questions directly, feel free to comment below, or send me a message. If you want to know why the police do what they do in the way that they do it, I am more than happy to find videos and court documents to explain. I fully support your right to voice your opinion, protest, and stand up for what you believe in. This post was made in order to help you understand how to keep yourself safe while doing so. As a reward for getting through this post, enjoy the above video of me getting OC'd in the face."

    A human being is a part of the whole, called by us "Universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.

    Albert E.

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