The Risk Tip is itself devoutly apolitical, but recognizes that the coming days will offer occasion for many to exercise their First Amendment rights in favor of this or against that. You or your loved ones might well participate in the festivities or a march, a counter-march, a counter-counter march, or even a double counter-festivities march. Unfortunately, the behavior of a crowd does not always reflect well on all of its members, so it is wise to prepare for a variety of contingencies (not to mention the weather). If you, or those you know, will be out and about, in an organized way, on Friday, Saturday, or in the future, consider the following points on managing your risk:
* Go with a friend; it’s always good to have someone looking out for you (and vice versa). Have a plan for communicating or meeting up in case you get separated.
* Carry cash and a valid picture ID.
* Make sure your phone and other devices are fully charged; you may also wish to bring a portable charger.
* Be aware of your surroundings at all times. If something doesn’t feel right, go home or back to your hotel.
* Keep your valuables in front pockets. Bags are not permitted in some venues or events so check beforehand. If you do carry a bag, keep it where it can’t be easily snatched or accessed.
* Have a contact plan to stay in touch with someone who isn’t at the march, but knows that you’re there.
Should the worst happen and your peaceable assembly suddenly turns not so peaceable:
* Do not resist law enforcement. Just do what they say.
* Be respectful and polite when dealing with the authorities, whether it’s law enforcement, the National Park Service, whoever.
The attached clip provides some further guidance on how to behave in the event of an event at an event. Above all, Remain calm! All is well!