This is just an idea for establishing some protocols so militants, pacifists, live streamers, and others can all function together more effectively during police conflicts. These rules would be described and agreed upon by all participants before each event, although organizers would be free to alter them depending on the nature of the event. The purpose would be to allow us to decide as a group how to respond to OPD actions during protests when there is no time for discussion or formal voting.
- If, during a confrontation with police, anyone feels circumstances warrant it, they can call for a “temperature check”. Participants should then relay the call via human mic and hold up one of three hand signals:
- Open hand: Let’s hold for now; do not engage with police.
- Closed fist: I give consent to those who wish to engage the police directly.
- Peace sign: Don’t engage; I volunteer to nonviolently shield the protest with my body.
- If fists are in the clear majority, everyone is free to act on their own discretion (after giving those who need it time to move away from the front of the conflict.) Live streamers should begin focusing their footage on the police rather than other protesters.
- If fists are not in the majority, those who volunteered to do so should advance to join the shield line.
- Until the majority of protesters consent to direct engagement, everyone should refrain from throwing things and should avoid physical altercations with the police if possible. Live streamers should film all aspects of the protest, to verify that any police violence was unprovoked.
- If the police physically charge the protest and breach our shield lines, everyone should respond as if explicit consent to engage had been given.
Does this sound like something we could all agree to?