So, the big day is here! Lets go through some hints and tips we at Southampton Antifascists have learnt over the years to best prepare for the day.
What should I bring?
- Food – Sarnies and a snack at least, you may not have time to pop to a shop.
- Water- As above, dehydration isn’t a great look for anyone.
- Sensible shoes.
- Warm clothes/waterproofs – We call collectively hear you saying “yes mum” as you read this but being soaked through really ruins your mood.
- Friends! Protests are better with your buddies
- Banners – show your pride!
- A clear head! Make sure you are well-rested, sober and NOT hungover
Some other things to think about
- Cameras- We all want to remember the day and make sure those who couldn’t make it get to see how awesome it was- but photos can be used by fascists and the police against protestors now and in the future. Be careful about posing for photographs where your identify is visible, and don’t take photos of others without asking! You can always take pictures and block out faces before posting online.
- Smart phones can be great for finding info on the day, and not getting lost. But they also hold a lot of personal information and can share a lot of intelligence. If this is something you might need to be careful about – maybe leave it at home?
- Bringing a face mask (more on that later!)
- How are you getting to and from the demo safely? A long day can feel so much longer if you then have to organise your way home.
- Watch out for each other, check in with your mates regularly
- Be loud & proud- you are entitled to exercise your right to protest and to tell others about how outrageous it is that neo nazi’s are out and about in our city.
- Get drunk
- Be a d*ck!
- Forget the reason why we are demonstrating (we are all on the same side, the enemy is not each other).
What should I be prepared for?
Nazis – They might not be the brightest, but who knows what they are planning! They thrive on violence and have been known to attack people on their own. Stay with the main group and you’ll be fine 🙂
Police – The police will use brute force when they feel its necessary. If you’re in the way whether you have done anything or not you will be moved. They’ve also been known to kettle people and then arrest them on mass.
Obviously the perfect day would involve little to no police presence and we hope the day passes smoothly but its always best to prepared for these things. Remember, you do not have to answer any questions the police ask you. Green and Black Cross has some really good guides about how to deal with the police, what to do if you’ve been arrested and another guide specifically for International Students.
Why are those people wearing masks?
At antifascist demonstrations some antifascists will cover their faces. It’s easy to jump straight to the conclusion that these people are thugs or just ‘looking to cause trouble’. The reality is there are lots of reasons to cover your face. You just have to look at the recent death of Jo Cox to see how violent the far right can be if they have a grudge against you. Fascists will take photos and scourer the media for images of protesters. Mass surveillance is another reason. The police have been known to build intelligence files on even the most peaceful protesters! Other reasons include solidarity (the more people that wear masks the safer everyone is!) and autonomy. For more see: Netpol
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Other good articles & resources are:
Good Luck- See you on the streets!