COVID Direct Action Safety 101

East Bay Specific

Before you leave home

  • Hydrate! This will help your body process chemical agents 
  • Download Signal to your phone. 
  • Disable Touch and Face ID. Change your phone to require a 6-digit passcode to unlock
  • Write the Bay Area National Lawyers Guild Legal Hotline (415) 285-1011 on your arm in sharpie in case of arrest.  


  • An ID 
  • Extra masks, gloves and hand sanitizer for your neighbors 
  • A bandana (soaked in vinegar in a plastic baggie) to wear over your nose and mouth in the event of tear gas
  • A nondescript change of clothes.
  • Snacks, water, bandaids
  • If you have any allergies or take prescription medication, carry a 3 day supply with you, along with original packaging. 
  • A small umbrella 
  • An extra battery charger
  • Pack a medic bag (see below)*

DO Wear: 

  • N95 mask or other medical grade face covering. 
  • Goggles
  • Non-descript clothes.
  • Wear closed toe shoes to prevent injury
  • Plan for the weather: bring enough layers if it gets cold. Likewise a hat or sunscreen for warmer temperatures 

DO NOT Wear: 

  • DO NOT wear contact lenses! Tear gas and pepper spray will stick to them.
  • Makeup: Chemical reaction
  • Jewelry: In the event of an injury, it could cause further inflammation. 
  • Large sums of money on you. The cops could take it if arrested.
  • Anything that might warrant arrest (drugs, weapons, etc.)

  • Remove all personal information from your social media accounts: untag yourself from pictures, remove where you work, live, and the places you go often. Remove photos of your vulnerable family members.
  • Form a pod (1-4 people you know and trust) and/or get a protest buddy. Make a plan to get there, create a signal group to communicate, set a meet up location in case folks split up, and determine your roles and risk level ahead of time. Stick together. 

Safety Prepping with Comrades

If you think you will possibly be arrested or going into a risky action, it is advisable to set up a plan in advance. A support person or group who is not attending the protest can intake this information somewhere for safekeeping and check in on you throughout the protest. 

  • What is your full name that you will be processed as? 
  • What gender do you want to be processed as? *consider what binary you would be most comfortable with from the inside and how you will get treated
  • What is your birthdate?
  • Who should we call if you get arrested?  
  • What should we tell them?  
  • What support will you need in the next three to five days? (street sweeping, paying bills, taking care of pets/kids, calling your work)
  • How much $ do you have available for bail?  
  • Would you need financial help?
  • What is your health insurance?
  • What hospital would you like to be taken to?
  • Who should we call in a medical emergency?

At the event 

  • Stay a MINIMUM of 6 feet apart from others as much as possible. 
  • The Anti-Police Terror Project is urging people not to burn things because the smoke would put Oakland’s most vulnerable communities at greater risk of contracting COVID-19.
  • If you post photos to social media, make sure peoples’ faces are blurred out, especially those on the frontlines. 
  • Avoid taking photos with your phone as much as possible, if you do make sure to scrub the metadata before sending them to others or sharing them online. 
  • Breaking the Shelter in Place (SIP) order can result in serious legal implications (jail time or $600-1000 fine). This is selectively enforced. Be aware of this if you see cops writing tickets or closing in on you. 

If you are arrested

  • DON'T TALK TO THE COPS. If you are grabbed by the cops, the only two phrases you should ever say are:
  • “Am I under arrest?” If you aren’t, they have to let you go by law. 
  • “I am exercising my right to remain silent. I want to speak with a court-appointed lawyer.” If you have a lawyer already, give that name instead, if you’d like. Your constitutional right to silence is only valid if invoked. Simply remaining silent is insufficient to bar using your silence against you. Invoke your rights but don't say any other words. A public defender will help you get out.

  • If you are Black or Brown, make it clear so they can prioritize getting you out.  
  • Tell them you have to have kosher food or you are vegetarian
  • Organize from the inside.
  • Cops can hold on to you for 48hrs if being detained under suspicion of a crime. 
  • If you are taken to Santa Rita, document conditions there (APTP has reports of COVID spreading rapidly and sanitation supplies not being readily available)

Medic Bag Items (

  • Mask, N95 or higher
  • Gloves
  • Gas mask
  • Ace bandages
  • Gauze wrap
  • Gauze pads
  • Duct tape
  • Various sizes of bandages
  • Saline solutions
  • Ointment
  • Sunblock
  • Extra food
  • Clean bandanas
  • Bandana soaked in water
  • Milk of magnesia or liquid Antacid/water mixture (50/50)- to rinse folks eyes after tear gas/pepper spray