BEFORE THE MARCH
- If you are travelling by METRO, buy or load your Smart Card in advance of the March. Stations will be crowded on March 24!
- Leave EARLY. If possible board at a terminal stop where parking is easy and you are more likely to get a seat.
WHAT TO WEAR
- Choose closed-toed, sturdy, supportive, preferably water-resistant or waterproof shoes (quick “concert” test: how would it feel if someone jumped on your foot or spilled a hot drink on it?). Many people choose flat leather boots, work boots, or outdoor shoes.
- Layer clothing. Synthetics insulate well and dry fast; cotton jeans will leave you cold if it rains. Check the weather and dress accordingly.
- Bandanas and scarves have a ton of uses (from warmth to pulling hair back to serving as a quick towel/napkin/tablecloth).
- Wear clothing with POCKETS to store your cell, etc.
- A small purse is best.
- Avoid wide, billowing, fringed, or dragging clothing that could catch on something or trip others
WHAT TO PACK: LESS IS BETTER
- Cell phone and external charger. Note: you may lose service. Bring a camera if you take a lot of photos.
- A map of the District and a METRO map.
- Cash (vendors may not take cards, machines may shut down, etc. etc.)
- Water in a plastic or metal bottle–singing and chanting will dry out your mouth. Dehydration in any weather is a health risk.
- ID, list of any medications and allergies, the name of an emergency contact
- If you must bring medication, use the container with a prescription label on it.
- If it’s cold, bring hand and toe warmers.
- Tissue, Band Aids, blister pads, diapers
- A BIG VOICE!
DO NOT BRING
- Anything that can be considered a weapon, including Swiss Army knives/Leatherman knives
- Laptops, expensive electronics, anything with private, personal, or encrypted information
- Jewelry, particularly any sharp dangling earrings, rings, or bracelets (they can be a potential source of injury, catch on clothing, and scratch other people)
- Controlled substances, even if you have a prescription
- Glass bottles (can be considered a weapon by police)
AT THE PROTEST
Respect fellow protesters. As a protester your behavior and any signs you carry reflect upon the entire crowd, and can put others in the crowd at risk (particularly those who might already be taking on more risk than you). A few specific notes:
- Keep in mind that many people bring families to protests and that protests are an important way for kids to participate in civic life. Watching profanity levels is both good for public relations and for keeping protests welcoming. Alert protest marshals to offensive (e.g. racist, sexist) or violence-inciting signs. They may make protesters feel unsafe and/or they may be part of a set up to discredit the event.
- Respect protest spaces: Pack your trash out with you if there is nowhere to put it.
- If you see something, say something. Upload the ACLU Mobile Justice App for iPhone or Android so you can report any incidents you witness and record video directly to the ACLU.
- Be attentive to potential provocations. Avoid them. Notify a protest marshal. Do not respond to hecklers.
- Do not engage with that overly aggressive crowd member. They might be one of you or they might be an agent provocateur. Either way, their behavior can derail the purpose of the event.
- Speak only for yourself. Do not speak for a group unless you have been appointed to do so.
- Conduct yourself calmly if cameras are nearby – no obscene gestures or aggressive chants, etc. Your group should remind each other of this. This is how a person ends up as a “hysterical screaming protester” on a news broadcast. In this day and age, you may be witch-hunted on social media if that happens.