This page contains advice on protesting. While protesting in Bournemouth is generally safe, it's best to be clued up about your rights and how to protest safely, especially during Covid. This may seem overwhelming but the best way to protect yourself and others is to be informed.
Knowing Your Rights
You have the legal right to peacefully protest (Article 11), even during the pandemic (if organised in compliance with COVID-19 Secure guidance).
When interacting with police:
You can say "no comment" to all police questions, no matter how friendly they seem.
You have the right to photograph or video police, who have no right to delete this footage.
If you are arrested:
You do not have to give the police personal details during an arrest or stop-and-search.
You have the right to free legal advice at the police station.
You have the right to an interpreter if English is not your first language.
If arrested, you shouldn't accept a caution without advice from a solicitor.
If under 18 (or appear to be under 18), an appropriate adult should be called.
You have the right to inform someone of your arrest (including a protest support line, such as The Green and Black Cross: 07946 541 511)
Tips for Protesting Safely
Bring a Bust Card, which has all key info and contact numbers on it. You can write one yourself or print existing ones, like the standard GBC/Netpol/ACAB bustcard (and A4 Print version) or Black Protest Legal Support’s bustcard with Covid-19 info.
Write key numbers on your arm.
Have a buddy and watch out for each other throughout the protest.
Bring: a non-descript warm, waterproof jacket, a bottle of water, a face covering, cash/change and ID, first aid supplies, protest signs and banners.
Don't bring: jewellery, illegal substances (obviously!), contact lenses, your phone without first turning off face/fingerprint ID and turning it to airplane mode (this stops it being used to track your location).
Tips for protesting safely during the coronavirus pandemic
If you are symptomatic or have recently been exposed to someone with COVID-19 do not attend a protest.
Do not participate in community protests if you feel ill, have active respiratory symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, fever (or other symptoms of COVID-19), or have recently been exposed to a close contact with documented COVID-19.
If you are asymptomatic and plan on joining the protest:
- Wear a mask or facial covering that fully covers your nose and mouth.
- Strongly consider wearing or having ready access to goggles or eye protection for added protection (avoid wearing contacts).
- Bring hand sanitizer and use frequently.
- Avoid sharing drinks, carrying other’s signs or touching objects that others have touched.
- Attempt to limit your group size and maintain 2m of physical distance whenever possible.
- Try to avoid crowded activities that involve shouting or singing in close proximity to others and avoid those who are not wearing masks or face coverings if possible. Bring your own water, food or other personal items.
There are options for protesting at home if you aren't well or do not feel comfortable protesting outside. You can post on social media, donate to causes (or donate time to watching sponsored fundraisers), and educate yourself and others.
Check this handy insta post on protesting during the pandemic.