UAW 4121 members take part in a variety of events and actions. Regardless of if you are attending a non-violent protest or action with no plans of getting involved in violence, police action, etc, it is important to be prepared just in case. The below resources are for basic protest participation; civil disobedience and larger actions should have more planning than a single Google Doc can provide. Lastly, none of this is legal advice, nor will it make sense for every person or every situation — take what works for you & leave what doesn’t!
General safety tips
- Try to go with at least one buddy if possible!
- Wear closed-toe comfortable walking shoes, wear a mask
- Consider a backpack or fanny pack (instead of a handbag) and don’t wear jewelry that might easily snag
- Leave your pets & children at home, unless the event is advertised to be kid-friendly
- Bring water/snacks, water can be very important both for staying hydrated and rinsing your eyes if necessary. Do not rinse eyes out with milk! Use water, saline, or water mixed with a liquid antacid
- Write the Seattle Lawyer Guild number (206-658-7963 / 206 OK TRY ME) and the number of a trusted contact (preferably someone not at the action who could bail you out if needed) on your arm or torso in sharpie — also helpful if your phone dies/breaks
- If your phone has the feature that lets you unlock it with your face or fingerprint, consider turning that off (a search warrant may not be needed to unlock your phone that way)
- Don’t talk to cops, talk to community. Don’t talk to cops about anything – not how your day is going, not what your studying in school, etc.
- Don’t take photos at the event that show people’s faces or identifying features; if you film someone being arrested etc, do not just post that on the internet — get in touch with organizers and/or the person being arrested for next steps and how to use the footage
Additional links and resources
- One-pager on Safety During Protests (from Amnesty International)
- Guide on PPE for Protests
- Protesting Tips: What to Bring, How to Act, How to Stay Safe
- Frontline Wellness United
- Street Medic Guide (from Hakan Geijer). This is not a substitute for professional medical training.
- BLM Seattle Protest Safety Guide Includes information on COVID safety, privacy/security, how to prepare for tear gas or mace, how to film / interact with the police, and much more.
- PDF of a business card sized resource w/ NLG number & space for contact information
Doxxing and Online Harassment
If you or someone you know is facing any concerns about doxxing, online harassment, or other forms of harassment, please:
- Contact the UAW 4121 Contract Enforcement Enforcement Working Group <firstname.lastname@example.org> for immediate peer support and guidance on your rights under our contracts.
- Contact UW SafeCampus at 206-685-7233. A Contract Enforcement Work Group representative can help with this if you’d like.
You can find additional information and resources here.
Know Your Rights – International & Undocu Students/Scholars
- Rapid Response Hotline (to report or get notices about ICE raids) – Spanish, English
- Know Your Rights if ICE comes to your door
- From United We Dream
- From the National Immigration Law Center
- From Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network
- Resource from 2016 Immigration Information & Strategy Forum
- Protesting and Interacting With Police: Know Your Rights as a Non-Citizen
- The right to protest is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. It protects the rights of all persons, regardless of citizenship or immigration status.
- If you are detained by police, you do not have to provide your immigration status, how you came to the United States, or give ID documents that tell your country of origin. However, do not lie or provide false documents.