Keep Each Other Safe on the Streets During OO Actions

Categories: Open Mic

From an excellent flyer by Critical Resistance available here.
Tips for the Streets
Keep each other safe because police wonʼt.

Lots of us are more vulnerable than others when it comes to police. People of color,
immigrants, transgender people, people with disabilities, and people with conviction
records all have a lot at risk when interacting with police. Standing together means
avoiding actions that will put people around you at increased risk for harm by police.
Look out for each other. Keep each other safe


  • Write the National Lawyers’ Guild Number: 415.285.1011 on your body in marker. Call them if you get arrested. They will get you out as soon as possible.
  • Tell a friend who won’t be at the action where you are going, and that you will let them know you when youʼve made it home safe. Write their number on your arm too.
  • Form a group that you will stay with the whole time. Talk about people’s needs: Do you have health problems, disabilities or injuries? What type of cop presence/action will make you want to leave? How high of a risk for you is it to get arrested? Do you have each other’s contact information or a meet up spot in case you get separated? Make agreements based on everyone’s answers.
  • Prepare water, food, and any essential medications that you have to take daily, or might need in specific situations (like an inhaler). If you have prescription meds, be sure to have the prescription with you.
  • Leave anything that can possibly be construed as a weapon behind. This includes tools, pocket knives, etc.
  • Prepare something to help reduce the impacts of tear gas. Soak a bandana or paper towel in lemon juice or cider vinegar and store it in a plastic baggie. You can breathe through theacidified cloth for several minutes, which should be enough time to get away. Do not wearcontact lenses; tear gas can get under them.


  • Walk instead of run whenever possible
  • Quickly pass on the word if you hear cops give an order to leave so people who canʼt get arrested have time to get away
  • Make smart decisions by thinking about how your actions will impact the people around you
  • Be aware that people around you could be undercover cops/provocateurs
  • Look out for the people around you and be aware of your surroundings
  • People have different abilities, so be conscious of how fast you move
  • Help de-escalate situations that increase risk of harmful police action and conflict between protestors
  • Remember that there are lots of medics out to help if you or anyone near you is hurt
  • Plan an exit strategy and leave in a group

If there is tear gas: Be careful near canisters, they can be extremely hot. Wrap your
vinegar-soaked handkerchief tightly over your nose and mouth. As soon as you are out
of range of the gas, try to take deep breaths. Panic is the worst part. Rinse eyes and
skin with COLD water. Hot water will make it worse. Get out of your clothes as soon as
you can.


  • Know Your Rights: Whenever the cops ask you anything besides your name and address, itʼs best to say: “I am going to remain silent. I want to see a lawyer.” They can and will use anything you say against you or others — even casual conversation or small talk. If they try to search you, keep repeating loud and clear: “I do not consent to a search.” No matter what they find on you, if witnesses hear you refuse consent to a search, the chance of if being ruled an illegal search is higher and whatever they find could be thrown out of your case if you go to court.
  • Repeat your rights loud and clear and ask witnesses to write down your name & contact info, the location of your arrest and the copʼs badge number.
  • Call the National Lawyers Guild: 415.285.1011 They will get you out as soon as possible and are trained for this.
  • If You Are An Immigrant: Do not sign any papers given to you by immigration authorities and do not talk to them until you talk to a lawyer. If you are charged with a crime, make sure your lawyer knows your immigration status.
  • Some Lies Cops Will Tell You: “Youʼre not a suspect — just help us understand what happened here and then you can go.” “If you donʼt answer my questions, Iʼllhave no choice but to arrest you. Do you want to go to jail?” “If you donʼt answer my questions, Iʼm going to charge you with resisting arrest.” “All of your friends have cooperated and we let them go home. Youʼre the only one left.”
  • Some Ways Cops Will Try to Manipulate You: Play “Good Cop/ Bad Cop”; Tell you that your friends ratted on you so that you will snitch on them; Tell you that they have all the evidence they need to convict you and that if you confess the judge will go easy on you.
  • Remember: the cops can break the law; you canʼt. They will try everything they can to try to trick and catch you.
  • No matter what cops say to you it is safest to answer: “I am going to remain silent. I want to see a lawyer. I do not consent to a search”

Comments are closed.