Now that the 2016 political cycle is coming to a head, many of you will be attending political rallies before November. Things are really starting to heat up and come to a crunch point, and often, tensions at these events can rise quickly. When you pack 20,000 people into a venue debating politics, chaos, fighting, and even riots can break out. Here’s five of our tips for staying safe at a rally.
Research Before Attending
Always make sure to research and have complete clarity on the nature of the political issue, and objectives of the event before attending any rally. You don’t want to be immersed in a crowd of people that loathes your beliefs accidentally, not do you want to accidentally support a cause that you don’t believe in. By getting on the same page as whatever event is happening, you can be safe and prepared.
Let people know where you’re going
Make sure you tell at least one person exactly where you are going. Make sure they know what time you’re supposed to arrive and depart. It’s essential that you have an emergency contact in case of any sort of conflict, potential arrests, or any sort of situation that could arise while you’re at a rally.
Make sure to be Prepared
Always bring signs and fliers at a rally in support. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothes, and bring water and some food to sustain you – especially if this is an outdoor rally. Also, if you can, make sure to bring cameras and phones to help document your time at the rally.
Be aware of your surroundings
In large crowds you always want to be aware of all your surroundings. Search the room and make a mental note of where the exits are, and be aware of where any kind of legal observer or law enforcement is located just in case of an emergency incident.
Make sure to always be peaceful
You are advised and encouraged to bring a level of discipline and positive energy to any political rally or event. Never lose your temper if you’re bothered by a bull-baiter (an individual sent out to disrupt and agitate people at rallys.) Simply stay above any bull-baiting, and if you feel in danger, intimidated, or angry, ask for intervention from event staff, or other people at the rally. Don’t let yourself get provoked into fighting or violence, since it will only harm the cause that you came out to support, and will potentially get you arrested for disorderly activity.