To protests is a fundamental human right of a human, to the extent that it is peaceful and safe. People protest for different reasons, especially if the reason threatens their existential right.
Currently in Nigeria, Youths are protesting against the high handedness and brutality of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad SARS on citizens.
As is the nature of social protest, it could turn rowdy and violent hence the need to know what to do to ensure your safety during a protest. Dr Chioma Nwankanma aka Dr Zobo shared these practical tips in a tweet that would be helpful to everyone directly or indirectly involved in a protest.
10 Protest Safety Tips:
1). Be healthy.
Protest is a rigourous activity. It could involve walking for miles and miles. If you are sick in any form, best to stay at home and support remotely.
2). Items to take along:
Whenever you want to go out for a protest get these items ready,
- A back pack. Not a hand bag
- Face mask/ Bandana. Including a face towel
- A hat and/or sunglasses
- Protest signs: Boldly Write your query
- Plain clothing: Dark colours preferably unless there is a colour code
- Change of Clothes
- Good comfy walking shoes: I find sneakers/boots are good for long walks
- Hand sanitiser
- A means of Identification: could be a government, school or work ID.
- Your phone: preferably a secondary or burner phone. You could lose the phone and not be too worried.
- Power bank
- Cash: in case you get stranded, let the cash speak.
- Medical supplies: like your routine medications. Analgesics, bandages, a card declaring your medical condition etc
3). Never Bring Children along to a protest.
4). Be part of a Group.
5). Educate yourself about the protest
6). Make sure you understand the schedule for the protest.
7). Be watchful and vigilant.
8). Help your fellow protesters.
9). Write down Emergency contacts
10). Avoid getting Tear-gassed
This hurts the eyes so badly and could trigger some skin reaction. So what should you do if you are exposed to tear gas, here is how to act when you exposed.
Tear Gas Exposed?!
- Do not Panic because it only worsens how you feel and act. You don’t want to act randomly or confused.
- Save yourself before saving others.
- Move away from the gas cloud quickly.
- Move to a higher ground if possible because tear gas is heavier than air and would fall below air.
- Breathe slowly
- Water can be used to flush the eyes. Blinking rapidly too helps produce more tears that flushes the tear gas from the eye. Tear Gas sticks to moisture produce a burning sensation.