Ways to support if you can’t go

Not everyone can go to an action for a variety of reasons and that’s totally okay. If you’re unable to go, but still want to help, check out these tips from this FB post that was written for the Patriot Prayer protest at Crissy Field:

How can you help this weekend?.. a list of suggestions for actively respecting and supporting those who put their bodies on the line.

My personal conviction is that if we can be at Crissy Field on Saturday we should be.

However, think hard about choosing to go to Crissy Field if you are at risk for deportation, for job loss if you are arrested, if you can not stand for a significant length of time, if you are likely to experience a mental health crisis under pressure, if you struggle with anger management or..if you can not run. 

I do not support shaming folks for being at Crissy… OR for being at Civic Center instead.

Here’s some valuable ways to serve behind the line if you can’t be there.

* Offer and provide childcare. Be clear and realistic about how many kids you can take, where you will be with them.. and be prepared with food, snacks, extra blankets and the awareness that 3 or 4 hours can become longer if things get out of control at Crissy Field or the parent is hurt or arrested. For school aged kids know their schools, times of school just in case of worst case scenario. Arrange for backup for YOURSELF in case time stretches longer.

* Offer and provide to care for dogs, including Service Dogs and Emotional Support Dogs. *see my post about no dogs at protests in comments

* Again, be clear and realistic about how many dogs you can take, where you will be with them.. and be prepared with some food, snacks, cozy blankets /places to snuggle and the awareness that 3 or 4 hours can become longer if things get out of control at Crissy Field or the owner is hurt or arrested.

* Offer and provide rides to and from the action. Offer to accompany folks on public transit. Take this seriously.. that means be available by phone at all times until your person/people tell you they are safely home.

* Be an emergency contact. This includes giving your number to the person/people you are doing this for and possibly having them write your number on their body. Get all of your person/peoples vital information.. medications? special needs?

* Work or school contact in case of absence? 

* Take this seriously.. that means be available by phone at all times until your person/people tell you they are safely home. Be the kind of person who can be calm, collected and well organized if contacted by law enforcement, a hospital, someone’s parents or a comrade.

* Offer and pledge to cover shifts for coworkers who plan to go to Crissy Field. Follow up with this!

* Use social media , primarily Twitter, to keep everyone informed in real time about police and fascist actions, movements {for example abruptly changing marching direction, kettling, and so on.} I have used Twitter both FROM an action and from outside an action with great success for informing folks what is going on… for getting needed supplies where they were needed or even rides and so on. I have used Twitter in this way from Occupy to the SFO action. Be aware of hashtags..search for and use the most common ones for each action… this is how you reach folks you don’t already know.

* Be decompression emotional triage and support. ONLY do this if you are feeling mentally healthy and prepared yourself. Use Active Listening. Be aware folks may be loud, angry, crying or ‘wired’. Be patient and accommodate that..do not silence. This is NOT the time for your own trauma/past trauma or hard stories.

* Bail folks out of jail… arrange to fundraise as needed.

* Be at the hospital with hospitalized friends.

If you have more suggestions add them in comments. I will continue to edit this.

Please share or cut and paste. Please tag me in all shares/cut & pastes. 
If you copy/paste {this gets more FB views} add a link to this post in comments so folks can see edits and suggestions.

I see you. I love you. I support you.

Also, a special note about dogs at actions per this FB post about the same action:

Do NOT bring your dog to these, or any, demonstrations, even if Service Dogs or Emotional Support Dogs are legally allowed. 

This is dangerous for even the most highly trained Service Dog…and for you. 

I am a skilled SD handler/trainer.. Wilbur is a seasoned task trained Service Dog with 6 years of working experience and is considered in SD terminology to be practically ‘bomb proof’…yet I never bring him to demonstrations. Ever.

* This kind of environment is physically risky for even the most seasoned, well trained Service Dog. 

* This kind of environment is overstimulating and stressful for even the most seasoned, well trained Service Dog trained for physical assistive tasks. 

* This kind of environment is confusing and exhausting for even the most seasoned, well trained Service Dog trained for medical alert or psych/PTSD tasks. 

* All of this goes double for Emotional Support Dogs who are not trained to be ‘bomb proof’ at all.

The ONLY dogs trained for this kind of environment are police/rescue/bomb/narcotics dogs and your dog is a risk to THEM… {and sometimes vice versa}

If none of this convinces you… If concern for other demonstrators who are already riled up, stressed out and may be dog fearful doesn’t convince you.. consider this:

If you find yourself unexpectedly arrested… you may never see your dog again.

In the event of violence ..or even fear of impending violence:

Your dog could be shot.. by police.

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