Guys, gals, and non-binary pals, the air is fresh, the flowers abloom, the sun is shining, the bees abuzz- you all know what that means. Riot season is upon us once again. With the school year coming to an end and millions of college kids across the country suddenly finding themselves with a whole lot of free time, what better summer activity could they be doing than fighting for fundamental rights? The leaked decision to overturn Roe V. Wade by the Supreme Court has rightfully infuriated countless across the United States as the people of this country realize that we will be forced to defend ourselves, once again, against the Handmaid’s Tale LARPers and the 16-year-old Nazi cosplayers. To prevent this BUTT article from devolving into a 2,000-page manifesto that ends with the implication that the Federal Reserve should be "deconstructed", we’re just going to say that the leaked decision was not very cash money. We’re going to share some tips and tricks for efficient protesting and looking like a supermodel while doing it.
Most protests start peacefully, many do not end that way. Here’s a few things to keep handy in that backpack of yours:
Water. Hot days are ahead and you’ll want to stay hydrated out there. Water is also useful when combined with traffic cones in dousing tear gas grenades. Importantly, water is not effective in counteracting pepper spray but we’ve got you in the next few points. That Hydro Flask bottle of yours can also double as the last thing someone sees for the night if you throw or swing it hard enough.
Safety goggles. Ideally you should wear a pair of sunglasses to the protest both to shield your eyes from the sun but also to act as a cursory line of defense should a cop decide to pepper spray you for the hell of it. If it’s getting real dicey though, throw your goggles on, they’ll protect your eyes from pepper spray, rubber bullets, and that one deranged dipshit trying to claw everyone’s eyes out (unrelated to protest, he just wants some eyeballs for his collection).
Respirator mask. Anything that can filter fine particulates will be your friend. Prevent your lungs from seizing up by putting it on when that tear gas comes out. 3M makes sturdy, industrial masks.
Burner cell phone. The state has shown time and again that it will track your smartphone if it so chooses and it definitely so chooses when it’s being challenged. Having a cheap flip phone handy to call your friends but not get tracked by the Feds or even local police (they have their own multimillion dollar surveillance systems that would make Orwell cum in his pants) will save your ass legally.
Beer bottle, 9 ounces of gasoline, crushed Styrofoam, rag, mix well and serve hot.
At the Protest
Knowing what you’re protesting for is key. If things stay peaceful, having a well-spoken argument can at worst educate someone else on your grievances and at best convince them to change their minds. (If this doesn’t work consult the gear list)
Wearing clothing that matches with others at the protest will help you blend in. If there was a preplanned color, wear that, if not, wear muted colors so that you don’t draw attention to yourself, whether it be a cop’s keen eye or that annoying security camera that’s oh so precariously placed on it’s mount (you definitely do not want to rip that out just for shit’s and giggles (or do you? Hey, is that my FBI agent over there? Dude I already said I don’t advocate for the immediate dismantlement of the Federal Reserve via easy-to-install "deconstruction devices", yes of course our currency is definitely real and not a justification for the wanton destruction of the planet, can I get back to my article please?)). A red sweatshirt in a sea of gray, black, and brown will stick out like a sore thumb.
Know where you are. Cops will usually give protestors an avenue of exit to prevent things from escalating into a full-blown riot. Don’t hesitate to remove yourself if things get heated. Don’t panic.
Knowing your rights if (not when) you get apprehended by police is incredibly important. They’ll try every manipulative trick in the book to get you to condemn yourself so throw the book back at them.
Read through the Bill of Rights. It contains such handy things like your first amendment right to protest, your fourth amendment right to ostensibly “prevent” cops from rummaging through your shit, your eighth amendment right preventing cruel and unusual punishment (cops tend to take this as more a suggestion than a right).
When in doubt, just shut the fuck up. Seriously. If you get caught, they’ll read you your Miranda rights (or they’ll just throw you in the back of their unmarked vans but hey), and in it they will affirm your right to an attorney and that anything you do or say can be held against you in a court of law. Don’t give them anything. Be quiet. Absolutely not a single word out of your mouth unless it’s “I want my phone call” or “I want my lawyer”. Definitely DO NOT rant about how money is made up and that you intend on hurting the international banking cartel by "engaging in the cautious and deliberate act of deconstructing" the Federal Reserve.
Have that one phone number memorized. See above.
So, now that you know a thing or two about safe and efficient protesting, it's time that you put these new knowledge and skills to the test. Go out into the heat this summer and attend a lawful assemblage near you. For anyone who’s on the fence about attending, maybe because you’re feeling a bit shy about “being political”, think of this as the perfect opportunity to show off your new summer bod. Or if you don’t have a summer bod to speak of, it could be a chance for you to get up close and personal with people who do, wink wink nudge nudge…
In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants”. So grab your sunscreen, Hydro Flask, and “summer cocktail”, ‘cause its about that time again.