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Guest Contribution

In today’s political climate, more and more people have taken to protesting in order to be heard.  These events are often rallies where individuals with the same views come together and try to make change, and while many of them are peaceful, there are sometimes verbal or physical altercations that require police involvement.  At times, these events can be passionate and even violent, so it’s important to keep some rules of safety in mind before attending, especially if your family will also be coming along.

One of the first things you’ll need to know is who organized the event.  What are their goals?  Have they ever organized a protest or rally before?  How many people are expected to attend?  Will there be security or police present?  Next, you’ll need to think about your involvement in the cause.  No matter how passionate you are about a topic, it’s important to stay calm and keep your wits about you at these types of events, because emotions can run high for many people.

Keep reading for more tips on how to stay safe at a protest or rally.

Know your rights

Before you attend a protest, it’s important to know what your rights are.  Do some research into what’s allowed–specifically, where the event will take place–and what is illegal.  These vary from place to place, and depending on whether the protest will be held indoors or outdoors, they may differ.  Being knowledgeable about your rights will keep you safe and will give you peace of mind.

Keep the little ones visible

Many families attend protests together these days, but when you’re a single parent and you’re doing everything yourself, it’s important to make sure your child is safe and easily visible at an event with a large crowd.  Consider a brightly-coloured safety vest for your child, such as the ones available here, and work out a plan with your child before you leave the house regarding what to do if you get separated.  Many parents consider it okay to tell their child to seek out another parent — someone who has a child with them — for help in finding their family.

Know what to bring

Knowing what to bring to a protest can be difficult if your whole family is going, but you’ll want to wear comfortable, weather-appropriate shoes and clothing; if you have small children, a stroller is almost always a must.  Don’t bring anything that is unnecessary, such as a heavy bag that you’ll have to carry around all day, but do think of things you might need, such as sunblock and snacks.  Leave anything that could be construed as a weapon at home.  Make sure you have a valid ID with you at all times.

Help your fellow protesters stay safe

No matter how civil a rally or protest is, there’s always a chance for those high emotions to run over and affect someone who is vulnerable, such as a woman on her own, a person of colour, or a member of the LGBTQ community.  Be on the lookout for these individuals and help them stay safe by asking them to join your group if they are alone.

Think of ways you can help outside the protest

It’s a good idea to look for ways you can help make a difference in your community outside of a protest, such as campaigning for clean water or urging your neighbours to be more eco-friendly.  Simple changes, such as swapping out light bulbs for more energy-efficient ones, can make a big difference and can reduce your carbon footprint as well as lower utility bills.  For more ideas on how to make eco-friendly changes in your community, read on here.

Staying safe is always a priority during large events with big crowds, and it’s important to talk to your family so that everyone is on the same page.  Make a plan for any circumstance and stay in contact via cell phone, both within your group and with someone at home who will be able to help should you need it.

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This article was graciously provided by a single father and website author.  For more great material from him, check out dadsolo.com

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While you’re here, please feel free to check out another recent post:

    What Priorities Should We Look At?  (Sept 1, 2018)

    We Want to Hear From You!  (Aug 15, 2018)

    Planning for Parenthood With a Disability  (July 22, 2018)

 

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