This story is over 5 years old.


How to Prepare and Stay Safe While You March

This weekend, people around the world will take to the streets to protest the inauguration and stand in solidarity with the Women's March on Washington. A representative from the ACLU explains how to stay safe while exercising your First Amendment rights.

Whether you plan to protest the inauguration in DC, join the Women's March on Washington the next day, or participate in another form of local action, there's something you need to have: a plan. Marching can be intimidating, and taking a public political action always involves some amount of risk. Though expressing your First Amendment right should be simple—you walk, you shout, you go home—knowing your rights and being prepared for unexpected circumstances can help you confidently and effectively exercise your right to free speech. If you intend to engage in civil disobedience, having a plan in case of arrest is especially vital. "The First Amendment is kind of like an old car that you keep in your garage and everyone once and awhile you have to take that car out and drive it to make sure it still works," says Monica Hopkins-Maxwell, Executive Director of the Washington DC chapter of the ACLU. "So many people are coming to DC for the first time, and this may be their first rally or their first protest," she says. "But they have been moved to make their voices heard, and that's what's so exciting." Read more on Broadly