Safety First: Inauguration Day Protests 101 and Women's March Resources

Tomorrow, we will host State of the Uterus at Cheer Up Charlie's, our own inauguration ceremony to raise money for reproductive and menstrual health groups. We expect tomorrow will be a busy, intense and emotional day for many of us, so we have pulled together a brief list of accurate resources for those participating in Inauguration Day events in Austin, Texas on January 20 and other protests this month. We're incredibly appreciative of the groups who have compiled this information. Please read the following, as it applies to you:

1.) A State-By-State Guide compiled by ACLU for The Women's March

2.) A list of organizations and events to support on Inauguration Day in Austin, Texas (that are pro-the-people) by CultureMap

3.) This note about inclusive demonstration/protest best practices circling on Facebook, that we've found incredibly helpful. The author is unknown.

*INCLUSIVE SUGGESTIONS FOR DEMONSTRATORS*

If you’re black/person of color/undocumented/trans/
gender non-conforming/woman/disabled/on the margins:

  • Keeping your cool may be hard to do. That’s ok. This inauguration legitimizes an election that was won by dehumanizing you.
  • Do not offer personal information to strangers.
  • Stay to the edges of the crowd. 
  • This makes it easier to disperse in case of arrests; it also makes it easier to take a rest.
  • If you’re black, you’ll be disproportionately targeted for police violence and arrest.
  • If you’re undocumented, any arrest can result in serious legal troubles.
  • If you’re a green card holder, any arrest will have to be listed and explained on any future citizenship application.
  • If you’re trans/gender non-conforming and are arrested, you will likely be placed with a gender you don’t identify with. On purpose.
  • If you’re disabled and are arrested, you may be placed in an un-accessible cell.
  • Have a meet-up-if-you-get-separated plan that’s accessible to everyone in your group.
  • Do not count on your cellphones – they can get jammed, lose signal, and/or lose battery.
  • Write important information (like legal aid, emergency contact, and drug allergies) on your forearm in Sharpie.
  • In fact, bring a Sharpie with you to share with others for this purpose.
  • Bring water and stay hydrated. 
  • Bring healthy AND sugary snacks and eat what feels right. 
  • Keep in mind that accessible toilets are more difficult to find.
  • If you’re walking, wear comfortable shoes and a backpack. 
  • If you’re using a wheelchair, carry your bag with you in the front if possible.
  • Don't bring anything you can't stand to lose.
  • Calmly leave the vicinity if you have any doubts about anything. (These are intended to be peaceful gatherings but it’s likely that infiltrators will try to incite violence and make it look like the protestors caused it. Use your own judgment.)

4.) Another article by the ACLU that summarizes your rights, in the event you must interact with law enforcement.

5.) If you cannot participate in the Women's March, but would like to follow along with protestors on-the-ground  we suggest keeping up with Got A Girl Crush on Instagram and Twitter for coverage of the Women's March on Washington (GAGC is a pro-choice, intersectional feminist magazine). We will be live-tweeting from the Women's March on Austin on Twitter, as well.

Whether you use this weekend to protest, unplug or self-care, PLEASE stay safe. Your physical and mental wellbeing are of the utmost importance. Check in with your friends, and remember that you are valued.

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” — Audre Lorde