This article was written by our Everly Mag Intern, Londyn.
Throughout American history, protesting has been a unique feature of our society. For those who don’t know, a protest is “an organized public demonstration expressing strong objection to a policy or course of action adopted by those in authority”. You may have learned about protests in history class such as the March on Washington and the Anti-Vietnam War protests, but now you have the opportunity to participate in them. In our current political climate, expressing our views is more important than ever. No matter where you stand on the political spectrum, there are opportunities for you to get out there and let your voice be heard. Last year, I was lucky enough to attend the Women’s March in Washington, DC and here are a few tips I wish I had known before attending my first march!
Do your research
Before attending any protest or march it is important that you do your research! Make sure you find out all of the details before attending, including where it will take place, how long it will go on for, what you are permitted to bring, and transportation details. Most major cities will have special instructions for public transportation the day of a major event to deal with the influx of people. Doing your research beforehand will make the day much more enjoyable for you.
Have a buddy system
It is not the worst thing if you go to a protest alone, but going with a friend or amongst a group will probably make you feel safer. Protests and marches often involve large crowds, which can be overwhelming for some, so having someone with you is a good idea. It is possible that you could end up split up in the chaos of the march, so having a person that you stay with throughout the duration is a way to stay safe!
Definitely, check the weather before going! It will make all the difference to make sure that you have a hooded jacket if it’s going to rain or you wear lightweight clothing if the temperature is going to be hot. If you aren’t dressed comfortably, you will spend more time concerned with your outfit rather than the issue at hand. It also might be important to note your shoe choice. You most likely will be standing, walking, and on your feet for several hours so wearing something that you’re comfortable in is important. You’ll appreciate this tip when your feet aren’t aching 30 minutes into the march!
Pack the essentials, but not too much
Bringing a small backpack or bag might be helpful depending on how long the event is supposed to take place. Some essentials include a charged phone, small snacks (i.e. trail mix, granola bar), water, and a portable charger. Packing the essentials will help in case you do find yourself in need of something, but you won’t have to worry about lugging a large, heavy bag around.
A fun part of attending a march is making signs! It allows you to voice your support in your own unique way, and to stand out amongst the crowd. A couple of days before the event you can make signs with friends, and bounce ideas off each other. Having other opinions will help you make the most eye-catching signs!
From my own personal experiences, these tips will help make protesting much more enjoyable. Definitely make sure to get enough rest the night before, because you will definitely exert a lot of energy. As American citizens, we have the right to freedom of speech and to participate in democracy, so take advantage of this! If you aren’t old enough to go out on your own, ask your parents to join you. Being amongst others who also identify with your beliefs will make you feel empowered from the unity. No matter what you believe in go out and express that belief!
Do you have tips on how to safely attend a protest? Comment Below!
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