We at Modern Girls wanted to take a moment to speak on behalf of today and consequential events that will drastically shape the world we live in. While this election cycle has proven to be disheartening, overwhelming and downright terrifying, it has also been amazing to see the way community is intersecting and developing strength through genuine love, support and action. We are here to say we stand with all marginalized communities, and we are here to stand by you. We want to reaffirm to you that every emotion continues to be valid. That your voice is powerful. Your existence matters. And ultimately that You, I, She, Her, They are unimaginably resilient, even through all moments we feel the most powerless.
We have reached a new age in our sociopolitical environment, which also makes us well aware that there are many who may have recently joined the resistance. We want you to know that we need you now more than ever and we welcome you to the movement. However, like all material on our site, we want to have a space that shares and reflects the true and lived realities of intersectional womanhood. While we want to encourage everyone to become active participants in resistance efforts, we also know that times such as these have the potential to foster heavy emotions, trauma and healing. So we also want to encourage that you please take the time you need to process your inner and outer environments and let yourself dictate the timing and methodology of action that is most comfortable and best suited for you. Of upmost importance, we want you to remain physically and mentally safe at all times. For those who find themselves ready for active participation in upcoming planned events, we wanted to pass along gathered tips to best prepare you for potential situations to be encountered. We will try to keep this updated if information is altered or gathered (invitation to please send along additional info you may find valuable and not listed!). While we cannot assure you of what will or will not take place at these events, what we can assure is that we will enter as prepared as possible, with as much love as possible.
While marking the beginning of what is sure to be a demanding battle, these struggles are not new. We have been surviving, we are surviving and we will continue to survive; together. We want to wish everyone and anyone taking a part of any upcoming actions strength, unity and revolutionary love. We are in solidarity with you all. We also want to encourage once again that if anyone finds themselves in need of support (whether a need to vent, seeking advice or need help locating resources) please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do everything in our capacity to help.
Tips for Safe Organizing
- KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Legally, of course. The potential for police encounters this time around is high. It is CRUCIAL you know how to maneuver these interactions. Take some time to review any basic “Know Your Rights” guide before heading out to any actions. Helpful: Print one out and keep it with you during an action. (We highly recommend this ACLU guide!)
- PREP YOURSELF: Treat this like any other outdoor activity because the truth is, you will be outside and moving for quite a while. Make sure you are well rested, stay hydrated, wear comfortable clothing/shoes, and then hydrate some more. Helpful: Pack a mini first aid kit with basics; bandaids, antibiotic cream etc.
- KEEP YOUR PHONE CHARGED!! Bring back up batteries, portable chargers etc.
- BUDDY SYSTEM: This is one elementary school trick that really comes in handy. Attend these events with a group of friends. Try avoiding leaving the crowd alone so that you do not get separated! These events can get quite large, and move quite fast making it really easy to lose track of people. Also an accountability factor, make sure you and your group keep an eye out for police snatch squads. Helpful: Many organizations and groups will host protest planning parties to designate matching shirts or create signifiers that help allocate people the day of events.
- PLAN AHEAD: Make sure to have an offsite plan for emergencies! Basically “If you have not been heard from by ____ time, you will have coordinated to meet with someone offsite at _____.”
- WRITE IT OUT : In general, always a good idea to have important information, contact numbers, emergency numbers, medical needs etc written down. The mass gathering could slow down reception at times and having it in writing can help when information is needed immediately.
- EMERGENCY CONTACTS: Write any necessary phone numbers you may need directly on your skin in sharpie. I recommend writing numbers of any legal services or organizations who have expressed their involvement and interest in supporting those who may need assistance of arrest due to civil disobedience.
- SPECIAL NEEDS : If you have a disability or special medical needs, carry a card (or a designated medical bracelet) that is equipped with all proper information in case an emergency should arise.
- NON-US CITIZENS : Keep your immigration number (aka “A number”) on you if you have one. Also research or talk to a lawyer about the potential risks that can arise with arrest or run ins with law enforcement.
- SPRAYS, GAS & BULLETS : They are used much more commonly than you may think.
- PEPPER SPRAY: DO NOT use water to attempt to rinse away pepper spray, water makes it worse. Use milk, baby shampoo + water to dilute, or liquid antacid (maalox!) + water to dilute. (Because of the probability, be sure to swap contacts for your glasses if possible)!
- TEAR GAS : When you get home, immediately put all contaminated clothes in a plastic bag for later decontamination/washing and immediately shower yourself with cold water to avoid opening your pores.
- Rubber Pellets : Seek immediate medical attention.
- UNDERCOVER COPS: Be extremely cautious and beware of undercover cops, snitchjacketing and collaborator “peace police.” Stay alert and cautious at all times. If someone you don’t know asks you to fill out a survey with personal information, seems a little too interested in where you’re staying or just overall is weirding you out, don’t feel like you owe it to the sisterhood to engage with them.
- BEWARE OF VIOLENCE TRAPS: Beware of folks that are inciting violence. Most of them tend to be police and feds. Again, get to know the crowd and those around you. They will set you up, and they are very good at it.
- MASK IT UP : The far right and media are extremely good at combing through pictures and doxxing people. Bandanas, scarves, ski masks anything that can easily be pulled up to protect your face from being fully disclosed are helpful.
- SIDEWALKS : When in doubt, jump on a sidewalk. Protests and actions, especially of large scales tend to spill over onto streets and sometimes freeways. However, if ever confronted with police, or you just ever feel uncomfortable or worried, hop on a sidewalk. You have the right to picket on public sidewalks (as long as you’re not disruptive, blocking any entrances or pedestrian walkways).
- JAIL TIME : I know times like these can spark dire urge to act against all costs. But please be mindful that going to jail should only be an option if you have planned and/or trained for it ahead of time. If you plan on going to jail, make sure you have basics covered such as: bail money, lawyer, time off from work, witnesses i.e.: a cadre. Do not risk going to jail without proper preparation.
Additional Resources and Links:
Want a heads up on some of the chants being used across the nation? Check out a compiled list here.
Women’s March D.C.
- National Lawyers Guild #J20 Inauguration Weekend Legal Support
- If you are arrested during the protests, you can call 24 hours/day from jail at (202) 670 – 6866
- If you’ve witnessed an arrest or for all other inquiries, please contact at 1(866) 798 – 6444
- American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
- If someone has been arrested by MPD: (202) 727 – 4383
Not ready to take the streets or looking for other ways to get involved on these issues? Check out some great advice on how to become involved here:
- Sign up for a daily email of action suggestions by @mikkipedia here!
- Suggestions to alternative actions by Upworthy and Patton Oswalt
- Practice some activist self care tips by rookie mag or amanda michelle jones
- An important read for those looking to become better allies for women of color
- An empowering playlist loaded with female musicians by grimy goods