Advice for tense protests like Occupy Los Angeles

A friend in L.A. asked on Facebook what to prepare for if she goes to Occupy Los Angeles, “What defense tactics have been employed for when LAPD corral us and mace us in the face like New York PD did last week?”

I helped organize many L.A. protests when living there, some of which got seriously tense. My advice:

  • Don’t let yourself get corralled in, stay in a group, do not go to your car alone, and photo and video everything. I’d park away from the area or take the subway.
  • Do not carry anything that could remotely be described as a weapon. Like scissors in a purse, even.
  • If you are sitting on the ground in protest and they come to arrest you and tell you to get up, do so. Refusing to or going limp when then pick you up can be considered resisting arrest.
  • Tell a friend you’re going and you’ll contact them when you’re back home at a prearranged time. If they don’t hear from you, they should call to see if arrested. They must have your full name to check for this in Los Angeles, that’s the name on your driver’s license. Having the date of birth helps too. Call 213-473-6100 24/7 for bookings by LAPD or the Sheriff’s Department. LAPD booking info.

If I was in L.A., I’d be there.