Checklist for activists

This is a quick checklist for activists in Paris for COP-21 mobilizations. It is not an activist toolkit, nor a legal briefing. It is a mere checklist. It sure is incomplete, and we have more detailed information below.

Tear gas

  • Cover your mouth and nose.
  • Its effect is short (at most 5-10 minutes), if you are strongly affected, take cover and be patient.
  • It is a heavy gas. Do not run down the hill. Keep up the hill or go sideways.
  • Do not shave, it opens the pores and increases the effect.
  • If you have long hair, do not let your hair free, they collect the gas and prolong the effect.
  • Do not try to wash it off with water. Water facilitates it to dissolve and increases the pain.
  • Do not touch a gas canister as it is very hot.

Police charge

  • Do not rush. Police rarely charges the way we see in war movies. They rather disperse the crowd and advance in a line.
  • Do not shout. Do not escalate the terror created by the police, keep calm.
  • Do not talk to the police.
    • If you are detained/arrested, do not give any information (other than -perhaps- your name, surname, birth date and address) to anyone but your lawyer.
    • If you are contacted because someone you know is arrested, do not give information. Instead, respond by asking questions like “Where is s/he?”, “Can anyone come and see her/him? When?” , “What are the charges?”… Do not answer their questions.
  • Keep together. Collect isolated people and help out.


  • If there are cameras around,
    • either cover your face and go away (it is forbidden to cover your face in a demonstration due to anti-terrorism laws),
    • or go and talk to the cameras filming and tell your story. (“We were marching here for … and police attacked us recently.” “There are injured people.” “We are here to defend…” etc., pass the message.)


More information can be found in the articles we published in the aftermath of Gezi

and in this article published in


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