There are plenty of valid reasons you may not be able to attend a protest or other direct action — you may be in an at-risk group for contracting COVID-19, you may be differently abled and not have someone to support you, or you may simply fear for your safety. That is totally ok! Here are some ways you can help assist your comrades in the streets.
Guide: To communicate safely and securely with folks at the protest, review the Communication Guide first.
Watch the news. Keep an eye on social media. Listen to police scanners.
Tell your comrades where the police (or other bad actors) are, where they are going, or any other pertinent updates regarding police action. Provide cross streets and direction of movement. Be as descriptive as you can. If possible, take a screenshot of Google/Apple Maps, annotate it, and send it directly instead of only sending text updates.
Avoid sending rumors. Only send verified and confirmed information.
If the news media is sharing aerial photos/videos of the crowd, send those along too. This can be a great boost for morale. It is always difficult to grasp the true magnitude of a crowd if you are in it. Seeing it from above can be inspiring.
Save your comrades’ full names and dates of birth. Be their trusted contact in case they are arrested. Check-in with them throughout the night. Develop a plan to communicate their safety during the protest or other direct action and at the end of the event.
Guide: Review the Legal Guide.
For example, have those in the street send you a message regularly to communicate that they are safe, perhaps a heart emoji or just “I’m good” every hour or so. Also have those in the street send you a message when they are home safe after they have left event.
With a plan like this in place, if you do not hear from your comrades, it is likely they were arrested. See the Legal Guide for next steps.
If you live in or have access to buildings near the action, provide them as safe spaces for comrades and other protestors to retreat to — if they need to rest or escape police brutality. If possible, provide access to restrooms, water, snacks, and other supplies.
If you have a car, offer to give comrades and protestors rides home when they are ready to leave the event.