HOT DOC: The Survivor’s Guide To Tahrir Square


AMR BASSIOUNY: Many people are either new or relatively inexperienced to violent protests, and considering what is happening these days, you might want to get close to the action and see what is happening or maybe even join the fighting yourself.  Before doing so, it’s essential to know how to do it right.  If you take it lightly, you could end up seriously injured, incapacitated or even dead. In this post I will go through how to prepare and protect yourself from attacks by the Central Security Forces (CSF) and the Military forces, as each uses different weapons and strategies. Before entering a protest or battle you need to have the following things:

Pre-Protest Preparation

  • Essentials
    • Scarf (palestinian-style) – To protect your neck and to coveryour face if needed.
    • Fully charged phone – Expect the worst
    • ID – In case you are injured or dead, people can identify you
    • Jeans/heavy pants – Protection for your legs/crotch
    • A thick jacket/top – Protection for your upper body
    • Something to cover your head such as a hooded shirt or beanie – Protection from rocks, batons or rubber bullets
    • Running shoes – You will run
    • Gas mask -Protection from deadly effects of tear/nerve gass.  Full mask recommended or add swimming goggles to protect the eyes from gas, rocks and rubber bullets
    • Tissues
    • 1 glove – To hold and throw gas canisters back at police without burning your hand
    • Small water bottle
  • Additional items
    • Spray paint – To spray the windshield of police/military cars or even in the face of any attackers
    • Coke/pepsi/other alkaline solution  – To neutralize burning effects of tear gas
  • What not to do
    • Don’t wear contact lenses, make-up, moisturizers or vegetable/mineral oil-based cream, it will bind the CS on skin and can boost up the skin irritation.

Before you enter the fight

  1. Plan your escape – Look for easy exit routes where you can run freely without getting stuck.
  2. Plan your steps – Look around for areas where you can take cover and where people are getting hit to avoid ending up in the same place
  3. Find the direction of the wind, this will be extremely useful when tear gas lands near you
  4. Put your gas mask on, secure your scarf and clothes and go ahead
  5. MORE

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