Be it the freedom riders and the boycotters of the past or the May Day organizers and Black Lives Matter activist of the present, making our feelings, our desires, and our voices heard through civil disobedience is critical. Protesting through marches is one of the most visible and powerful means of civil disobedience, but, being such a visible and powerful tool, also means that it can attract a lot of attention from both sides of the debate. These events, while often quite calm, can quickly turn violent as divergent beliefs collide and as police try to maintain order. Even a casual survey of history, shows that peaceful protests can turn into violent riots as ideologies (and fists) clash, as heavy handed and militarized police forces shut down political action, and as the media performs the post-mortem blame game.
Regardless of your stance on what’s appropriate or inappropriate behavior during a protest, we can all agree that maintaining our physical and legal security is key. In this panel/workshop we’ll explore divergent views about how to maximize the efficacy of a protest as well as how to stay safe from a legal and a physical perspective. This session will feature voices from diverse political perspectives and at its conclusion, each participant should leave with suggestions that they can take back to their communities to improve their safety and security during civil actions.