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A protester’s guide to a second revolution

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The do’s and don’ts during a weekend of protests.

Preparing for a protest might be a tricky thing for first timers, but the following list provides you with the essentials (Photo by Thoraia Abou Bakr)

Preparing for a protest might be a tricky thing for first timers, but the following list provides you with the essentials
(Photo by Thoraia Abou Bakr)

This weekend, instead of heading to Sahel, many people are heading to different squares across the nation to protest. In good Egyptian tradition of finding the humour in even the most serious of circumstances here is a list of suggestions of what to wear and what not, what to do and what not and other tips for all the first timers out there.

  1. If there is one thing you have to absolutely do first thing in the morning it is to take a shower. It is hot and sticky, and yes you are claiming your rights, but no one says you have to stink up the square. After you shower, put on deodorant.
  2. Choose only cotton or linen clothes. Please avoid polyester or any synthetic blend since it will only make you sweat, dehydrate and lead to your smelling really bad (review point no. 1).
  3. Wear comfortable shoes. This is for you ladies who normally opt to wear heels. Please do not. There is nothing attractive in wearing heels to a protest. It only shows that you are unable to think straight, and if they chase you (let’s face it, you are the weakling in heels), you will fall down and it won’t be pretty. For your safety and the safety of those who will rush to help you, for the love of everything sacred, do not wear heels.
  4. This is a tip for the ladies with long hair: wear it up, and not in a pony tail. If you have the misfortune of being attacked long hair is an easy thing to grab on to, so make sure your hair is safely tucked away.
  5. In horror movies there is one golden rule, always stay in the group, and this also goes for protesting in Egypt. Never ever leave your group or buddy. Pretend you are back in kindergarten, and hold on to them for dear life.
  6. Harassment might not be avoided, but that does not mean you cannot do anything about it. Scream bloody murder, kick, bite, do whatever you can to get out of the situation.
  7. Trust your gut, don’t be a hero. If you feel that there is something uncomfortable about any situation, grab your buddy or group and get out of there.
  8. Make sure you have a bottle of water and a snack in case you get hungry. However, do not pack yesterday’s leftover Chinese food, it is not a picnic.
  9. Don’t pick up rocks, don’t throw rocks, don’t even look at rocks. By all means raise your voice and arms but keep your hands empty.
  10. Finally, be safe and always have your phone handy. Make sure you have some numbers of institutions that help with arrests and sexual harassment; it might mean your survival. If you have pepper spray, take it with you, you can never be too careful.

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