Advices for protestors
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- [Initially for France, but can be used in other countries, note that legal advices(like the police custody) or even police strategy can differ from country]
- Some advice...
- ... BEFORE THE EVENT
- Avoid coming alone. Form pairs or trinomials (people who know each other and have the same objectives), if possible come in a larger group and fix a date after the event to see if everyone is well and even testify.
- Avoid bringing an agenda, address book, leaflets and personal papers. Check your pockets to make sure you don't have anything incriminating (Swiss Army knife, forgotten shit ball, etc.). It is important to have water and it can be useful to have something to snack on. Police crates can be long. Alcohol is not a very good idea, it promotes dehydration and the risk of hemorrhaging in case of injuries. Taking cash is always a good idea. Cell phones are handy (keep in mind the geolocation) , but be careful to turn them off in case of arrest. A scarf can be useful, as well as saline. Have appropriate footwear and avoid wearing loose clothing. If you have long hair, you can tie it up, and if possible it is best to leave earrings and piercing at home. Carry the name or number of a lawyer and of the anti-repression commission (if it exists).
- First aid kits
- It is important to always carry something with you to treat small injuries, whether they are the result of police repression or simple accidents. For example, think of phyto-serum or an eye product, enough to make an emergency bandage if you are separated from your rescuer; a bandage, a few compresses... Try to have in each group someone with first-aid knowledge, and a complete first-aid kit, with sterile gloves, bandages, compresses, sterile strips, cotton, antiseptics and the usual medicines for headaches, digestive problems.. Bring swim goggles, it protect your eyes of tear gas and eventually a FFP3 mask to protect your lung
- ... DURING THE DEMONSTRATION
- Remain mobile and attentive to the "environment": "law enforcement" (CRS, BAC, RG, acrobats, etc.), urban video surveillance, mobile phones, Go-pro, etc. With their cameras, the cops keep a record of the demonstrators, masking their faces can be useful; in certain situations, it seems indispensable. Try to evaluate with your trinomial "exit doors" in each new situation.
- The first weapon of the police is fear. Sirens, rockets, grenades and oral intimidation are mostly deterrent techniques. In the face of this, try to stay as calm as possible, even in crowd movements; avoid shouting or running unnecessarily (this increases collective stress). Do not give in to panic... Fear is natural, but one can learn to channel it (singing together, shouting slogans, regrouping, etc.).
- A police charge rarely exceeds 60 m so it is useless to run further; it is better to walk in groups and avoid leaving isolated people behind the group. The BAC, more mobile, is often there to call out: they freewheel before retreating behind the CRS/GM lines, staying grouped in front of it, forming chains if necessary, it is a good way to avoid arrests. Be careful with the LBD40 (flashball)!
- Always be attentive to the other demonstrators: mutual help is essential. If you see an arrest, you can oppose it by grabbing the person and calling people around. But beware, there is no point in playing the zorros... and getting hugged too.
- If nothing can be attempted, try to find information and pass it on to the "anti-repression" commission. If there's no information at home, find a collective to defend the demonstrators. This helps speed up legal aid (prepare a case, discuss the defence, etc.) and the incarcerated friend will feel less alone. If you are arrested, report to witnesses and avoid insults and beatings: "insult and rebellion" is the cops' favourite legal weapon for charging a case.
- In the event of a mass of protesters it is almost always a good idea to stay in support outside the mass. It warms the hearts and it can disorganize the police.
- Tear gas is often very localized, you only have to move a few meters away to avoid it. Observe the direction of the wind. Do not throw back a grenade that has not yet exploded, as it may be an explosive grenade (GLIF4, GM2L) or a de-energizing grenade. In case of gassing, breathe through your mouth with a water soaked cloth (caution! if lemon is good at the time, the combination lemon+lacrymos is very harmful) or better still use an FFP3 mask. Tears stick to the skin and tissues, so avoid touching your eyes and lips with contaminated hands or clothing. Rinse skin with water. For the eyes, the best solution is serum physiological, otherwise water (possibly mixed with Malox) can be used.
- ... IN CASE OF CUSTODY
- The maximum duration of an identity check is 4 hours; police custody can last 24 hours, extendable up to 48 hours. Since the reform of the GAV in 2011, it is possible to require the presence of a lawyer from the beginning of the GAV and during interrogations; he has 2 hours to arrive. In fact, the cops can insist on starting without him, under the pretext that he is not available, and start a hearing. Do not give in on this point. Remain vigilant even in the presence of a lawyer: a lawyer who is not very concerned about the situation may advise you to say everything, or to give your DNA... Ask to see a doctor (if this request is not satisfied, there is a mistrial... and it always feels good to meet people).
- It is important to know that everything you say at a hearing will be used by a judge to convict you. The law only requires you to give your name, date of birth and address. One of the police techniques used is to get you to admit what you are accused of in order to get out of police custody faster. Accepting is a miscalculation.
- Despite all the pressure from the cops, you obviously have the right not to declare anything. Beware, cops often manipulate police reports, so you have to read them again before signing them. It is almost impossible to go back, during a trial, on statements made during police custody.
- Genetic records (DNA) are a big step towards total surveillance. Even if refusing to give one's DNA to the cops is an offence (one year in prison and a 15,000 euro fine), prosecutions are not systematic, and convictions are often light (a fine of a few hundred euros...) when the defendant invokes a refusal of DNA registration and is supported by associations, trade unions... Here too, the solidarity fund or - if there is one - the "anti-repression" commission of your movement are there to organise solidarity in the event of a conviction for DNA refusal.
- As a general rule, it is better to ask to postpone the immediate appearance to prepare one's defence, as convictions are on average heavier during these trials. You must judge according to the seriousness of the facts, the context of the arrest and the guarantees of representation (information which proves that you are not at risk of not appearing for your trial: certificate of employment, training, housing, etc.) that you can provide, you then run the risk of preventive detention (a few weeks). Hence the importance also of preparing a solid case when your friends are arrested to confirm the guarantees of representation.
- ... AFTER THE MANIFER
- Change your clothes if necessary, avoid going home alone. Make sure that the members of his or her trinomial are home as well. Take a shower to decontaminate yourself from gas. It's often good to find a time to discuss the demonstration and our feelings, and to get organized for the next one!
- Source : https://paris-luttes.info/conseils-en-manif-septembre-2019-5083
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