Staying Safe at Protests: How to Respond Non-Violently

Peaceful protest is our right. But, other groups may attempt to intimidate us with violence. To prevent our non-violent demonstration from becoming a show of their violence, here are some tips. It is easiest to defuse a problem before it explodes.

  • If you feel uncomfortable or intimidated, immediately move or leave the area.
  • If you see weapons or you feel threatened or you observe suspicious behavior, call the police immediately and leave the area.
  • If you are surrounded, don’t panic. Move to the periphery of the crowd.
  • If someone appears to be in danger, intervene calmly. Emotional actions beget emotional responses.
  • If a person abuses you verbally, do not respond. Reasonable discourse in this situation is futile. Verbal abuse is used to anger, demoralize and provoke. Do not take the bait.
  • If you face aggression and choose to engage, know that an aggressive person is not likely to listen to you. Have an escape route.
  • If it is possible, look for creative ways of isolating and calming aggressive people, by building a positive relationship with them: “I want to listen to you but I am having trouble when you are shouting….”
  • If you are attacked, follow the attackers directions; do not fight back.
  • If an attack occurs, try to remember details so you will be a good witness.

Stay Safe

Download these tips as a flyer or pocket guide and distribute them as you wish. The pocket guide is “3-up” so it may be printed on an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet and cut apart.

Staying Safe at Protests-How to Respond Non ViolentlyFlyer

Staying Safe at Protests-How to Respond Non Violently Pocket Guide

Furnished by Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice