Preparation and Safety For Rallies and Protests

If you are planning on expressing your opinion at a rally for any cause, there are some things you should consider so that you can stay safe. These guidelines are not just for those on one side, they are for all. No matter where you stand on an issue, there are some basic rules that apply.

That being said, I firmly support the 2nd Amendment. I have owned my own firearm since I was 8 years old and I have been loading and shooting guns since I was so small I required assistance to hold it and pull the trigger.

It is crucial that we keep this right if we wish to remain a free country. Blaming guns for the level of evil and violence that has become so prevalent in our society is easy. Actually addressing and fixing the true causes of evil and violence is not easy at all and it would hurt the pocketbooks of a lot of people that have got rich off the pain and suffering of others.

There are always those on both sides that are hoping that things will get out of hand and will even actively encourage it. This is inevitable in a large crowd. Even if 98% of other people don’t want things to take a turn, that other 2% can be the spark that fuels a much larger fire.

Violence is far easier to start than it is to stop.

Once an act of violence happens it can quickly snowball. Many people call for acts of violence from their armchairs and laptops but know not of what they speak. I see this daily online no matter what is going on.

Very few that call for violence with great enthusiasm has ever seen the level they are calling for. Those that have experienced violence tend to be a lot more cautious about calling for it.

While I believe that people need to defend themselves, starting violence should not be taken lightly. Just because someone calls you name or something doesn’t mean you should go in fists swinging. Consider what is really going to be achieved by your actions and if the result is worth the effort and possible sacrifice. Will it really help you achieve your cause or will it have the opposite effect cand make people turn away?

Sometimes one side will purposely provoke the other side in order to make them look bad.

Any excuse to blame the other side and make them look bad is seen as positive by some. This can lead to outrageous behavior in the form of taunts, insults, etc. with the hope that they can cause something that leads to severe outrage and physical violence.

Being armed in any way can make people more confident. It doesn’t have to be a gun either. Even just having a stick in your hand is probably going to make you more confident.

Look I don’t blame people for being armed all the time. I always have something that can be used as a weapon on me.
And yes it makes me more confident but I also know that that same weapon could be taken from me and used against me. I am not going to use something unless I actually have to and I definitely and not going to make the mistake of thinking that someone can’t get my weapon and use it or simply take it away and just use fists and kicks or similar. Also you never know what the other person may be carrying on them.

In short, over confidence can lead to rash decisions.

People are on edge and it is easy to get caught up in panic.

It doesn’t take much to get people to panic in today’s day and age. A car backfiring or someone just popping a balloon can lead to panic. It is infectious. One person running and yelling any word that triggers fear is all it takes and then you are in a human stampede.

This is a risk with any large gathering. There are many things you can do to avoid some risks. Examples are hanging back a bit from the main crowd and avoiding getting trapped in a spot where a crowd could push against a solid barrier or multiple barriers.

I wrote an article over at Backdoor Survival about what to do to stay safe in crowds during times like we are living in now. Here is a link.

Practice good observation.
Don’t get so entranced with the proceedings that you don’t take the time for good situational awareness.

Sometimes if you pay a little extra attention and scan everything in your view, you can pick up on things before they take a turn for the worst. Like if you see from a distance that trouble has broken out in part of the crowd you can then avoid that spot.

Have an escape plan.

Ok so you are going to a rally in a place you are not familiar with. Well you should do some homework before you go. Print out or buy a map of the area you are going to be in. Study that map and plan out how to get out of the area if things start getting weird.
When you are making your way there, take note of anything that may impede your escape such as blocked streets or demonstrations.

Arguing with law enforcement or security is going to get you arrested. I shouldn’t have to say that but some people still think they can talk their way out of bad behavior or prove law enforcement wrong.

If someone in law enforcement or security calls you out, arguing or acting hostile is not going to get them to change their mind. Just don’t. Try to deescalate the situation and move on if you are able to. Not cooperating with law enforcement will not work out.

Take Some Supplies With You

  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Any Meds You Require
  • Small First Aid Kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Respirator With Volatile Organic Compound Cartridges
  • Goggles
  • Map of the area

Taking something to defend yourself is not something I will tell you not to do but since this is the internet I have to say that this is at your own desecration. Some places allow some things and some do not. It is your decision and you must face the consequences if you are caught.

Stay safe out there folks,

Sam Biggers