Podcast #027: My First Protest – a Beginners Guide

Scenes from a protest; for clarification this is the Slut Walk march in Philadelphia USA in Autumn 2013. It's the only march or protest I have a picture of...

Welcome to Episode 27 of my “Travel Tales From Beyond The Brochure” podcast.

It’s a very strange time at the moment, for all manner of reasons, and it’s an especially odd time to be running a travel podcast. So … I’m not.

This is the first of a two-part episode all about protest and direct action. Next week I’ll be going to back to “Storytime” with tales of times when direct action in the UK has successfully changed society, culture, or the government. This episode though is a ‘Beginner’s Guide To My First Protest’, brought to you by my anarchist friend, Victoria (but you can call her V).

Topics discussed in this episode then include:

  • The right to protest
  • Not everyone can protest of course
  • Basic etiquette at protest – your role, especially if you’re there purely for support
  • Check and carry my legal rights – they vary by location
  • What bag should I take?
  • What clothes should I wear?
  • Wear closed shoes! #Subtweet
  • Things to take in my bag – including food & drink
  • The practical and non-violent use of an empty bottle
  • How to wash someone’s eyes out
  • Coping with tear gas
  • Specific dangers of being pregnant in a protest
  • Should I take a phone?
  • Documenting a protest – should I, and how do I film/photograph safely? Both during and afterwards?
  • Facial recognition cameras; how to reduce the risk of identification
  • Where to stand to avoid trouble
  • Why do people block the streets with bins, debris etc?
  • Who are the people dressed entirely in black and why should I avoid them?
  • How to identify an undercover police officer
  • What should I do if I see someone being arrested?
  • I have personal issues (health, job role etc) and don’t feel safe at a protest – what can I do?

You can listen via the feed above, or via Spotify, or on your podcast app of choice 🙂 Let me know if it isn’t, by the way, and I’ll see what I can do. In addition, a PDF transcript of this episode is available by clicking here.

As always, if you have anything to say about the topic, or indeed about my podcasting in general, leave a comment or let me know. There is a Facebook group for my podcast that you’re free to join: Click here!

I also now have a Patreon! If you like what you hear, and want to access exclusive content (or just to show your appreciation), then head on over to my page and donate to me!

There are no contributions in this episode; other than the obvious. It feels almost like *my* section at the start is the contribution!

The sample at the start of the pod is taken from the Freesound website, and is a recording from a 2020 BLM protest in Toronto, uploaded by the user ‘Geldart’.

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