Activism is a good way to make changes and make your voice heard, and often that’s done through protesting. That being said, being safe during a protest should be your top priority. Here’s some things to remember that will help.
Perhaps the biggest thing is to make sure you have enough water. Carry more than one bottle with you if possible, and take the weather into account. If it’s hotter, take more water. Keep some extra in an ice chest in your car if you used one to get to the protest.
I know it seems obvious in the COVID-19 era, but always wear a mask. I have seen multiple protesters not wearing masks; this is especially important right now because it’s not always possible to keep a reasonable social distance from fellow protesters.
Tell someone who is not attending the protest where you are going so someone knows where you are. If something happens and you end up needing a ride or some other kind of outside help, it will be a lot easier if someone knows where you are in advance.
Make sure you have some cash on you in case you end up needing to buy something. I would definitely recommend actual cash instead of just a card; it’s a lot more flexible in its spending ability.
Finally, be aware at all times. If anything happens, no matter how slight, that makes you uncomfortable or nervous, leave immediately. One word said by one person can turn nasty, so don’t wait for it to. If you have to wait for a ride, find somewhere nearby that’s safe and public to go to—say a store or a civic center—if you were protesting near one. On that note, if you end up stuck in a crowd and want to get out, move sideways through the crowd towards the edge instead of trying to fight your way out going forward or backward.
Stay safe, stay alert, and stay strong. You can make a difference, but it’s far better to make sure you’re doing it safely.