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An Activist's Guide To Basic First Aid

“We believe that health care is political”

Medical information
From the Black Cross Health Care Collective: (slightly edited)

  • Preparation
  • Medication in jail
  • Pepper spray and tear gas
  • Blood, Bruises and Broken-bones


What to wear:

  • Comfortable, protective shoes that you can run in.
  • Clothing covering all your skin to protect from sun and pepper spray exposure.
  • Shatter-resistant eye protection (ie. Sunglasses, swim goggles, or gas mask)
  • Bandana to cover nose and mouth soaked in lemon-water or apple-cider vinegar, it can aid breathing during chemical exposure.
  • Weather-related gear (ie. Rain gear or sun hat)
  • Heavy duty gloves (non plastic) if you plan to handle hot tear gas canisters.
  • Fresh clothes in plastic bag (in case yours get contaminated by chemical weapons)
  • A cap or a hat to protect from the sun and from chemical weapons.

What to bring:

  • Lots of water in a plastic bottle with squirt or spray top, to drink and to wash your skin and eyes in need be.
  • Energy snacks
  • A small medi-kit with bandages, plasters, tape etc.
  • Identification and/or emergency contact information ONLY if you want to be cited out of jail in the event of an arrest.
  • Just enough money for pay-phone, food, transportation.
  • Watch, paper, pen for accurate documentation of events, police brutality, injuries.
  • Water or alcohol based sunscreen. No OIL based sunscreen.
  • Inhaler, epipen, insulin or other meds if applicable.
  • Several days of prescription medication and doctor’s note in case of arrest.
  • Menstrual pads, if needed. Avoid using tampons ¡V if you’re arrested you may not have a chance to change it (tampons left in for more than six hours increase your risk of developing toxic shock syndrome)

What not to do:

  • Don’t put Vaseline, mineral oil, oil-based sunscreen or moisturisers on skin as they can trap chemicals.
  • Don’t wear contact lenses, which can trap irritating chemicals underneath.
  • Don’t wear things that can easily be grabbed (ie. Dangly earrings or other jewellery, ties, loose hair)
  • Don’t go to the demo alone, if you can help it. It is best to go with an affinity group or some friends who know you well.
  • Don’t forget to eat food and DRINK LOTS OF WATER.