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Safety Tips for Protests, Rallies and Marches

If you are planning to participate in events to exercise your First Amendment rights, you can follow these tips to stay safe and reduce the spread of COVID-19. Additional safety tips and emergency numbers can be found on the Drexel Public Safety website.

Before going to an event:

  • Consider who is in your household and their health. Consider the fact that you will risk exposing them to COVID-19, especially if they are at a higher risk for complications.
  • Use the buddy system and ask a friend to go with you. Have a plan where to meet if you get separated.
  • Let someone you trust, who is not involved in the event, know where you are going.
  • Items to bring:
    • Water (consider bringing bottles with sports caps to help flush eyes if there is exposure to tear gas)
    • Sunglasses
    • Mask
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Tissues
    • First aid kit
    • Snacks
    • Hat to protect from the sun and help cover your face
    • Any emergency medications, if you have a medical condition
  • Do NOT bring alcohol, cannabis or cannabis products, or other drugs.
  • Consider dressing in long sleeves (or bring an outer layer) and wear pants to protect your skin from chemical agents such as tear gas or pepper spray.
  • Wear comfortable, protective shoes.
  • Do not wear contact lenses, eye makeup or jewelry.
  • Fully charge your phone and consider bringing an extra battery pack and charger.

Research the event:

  • Is this event sponsored by a group you trust?
  • Do the organizers have a safe plan and good communication with participants?

While marching or participating:

  • Stay focused and aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Wear your mask and stay at least six feet apart from others to maintain physical distancing.
  • Stay hydrated by frequently drinking water.
  • Don't shake hands, hug, share drinks or engage in long face-to-face conversations.
  • Stay vigilant - while you may have every intention to demonstrate peacefully, realize that protests have the potential to become unsafe quickly.
  • Document injuries with photos and note the time and location.
  • If your eyes are exposed to pepper spray or tear gas:
    • Do not rub them; blinking and rinsing are most effective.
    • Tilt head sideways and rinse each eye with water (and diluted baby shampoo if available).
    • Do not rinse with milk, because the goal is to flush, not neutralize.

Take care of yourself physically and mentally. Nourish your body with the food you have available to you, stay hydrated and get enough sleep. Reach out to your support system and practice self-care.