Free speech is on the run. And people expressing their constitutionally-protected rights are increasingly encountering militarized police forces determined to stop them.
Several months ago on an Occupy Supply webinar, Dan Choi said we needed to start thinking about how to protect people while they are out there protesting on behalf of all of us. So we started asking Occupy groups in various cities what they would find helpful in a “Free Speech” kit.
We’ve finally finished putting the kits together, and they are available now at the Occupy Supply store for $25.
We will also be sending them free of charge to Occupy Wall Street protesters for the one-year anniversary of OWS on September 17. You can donate to send a Free Speech kit to an occupier who will be attending the one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street here.
The kits contain:
- Medical supply case that clips on a belt or backpack
- Mead memo-pad for note taking
- “You Have the Right to Remain Silent,” an 18-page manual letting protesters know what their legal rights are compiled by the National Lawyer’s Guild
- 3M E-A-R soft earplugs, with a noise reduction rating of 33 dB
- Alcohol wipes
- Foldable, reusable N95 rated particle mask
- Blister pads
- Antiseptic towlettes
- Ginseng and bee pollen
- OcuFresh Eye Wash
- Aloe Cooling Gel for burns, cuts and abrasions
- SPF 30 Sunscreen
- Electrical tape
- 1 pair exam glove
We got the chance to talk with OWS organizers last Wednesday on the Occupy Supply webinar about their plans for S17, and it was great to hear their input on the contents of the kit. Special requests came in for something to read and something to keep energy up, hence inclusion of the NLG booklet, the Emergen-C and the ginseng and bee pollen.
Also in the store we have the super-lightweight, foldable water bottles that were so helpful to occupiers at the Philadelphia national gathering after the mayor told the fire department to stop giving them access to water. We also have non-ventilated safety goggles that can be worn for eye protection. Both are available individually or as part of the Free Speech Kit Plus, which also includes an Occupy Supply bandana.
In addition to occupiers, we drew a lot of our inspiration from others who have compiled great activism kits, including this terrific Life Hacker article. Many thanks to them, as well as the National Lawyer’s Guild for allowing us to reprint the manual.
FDL will have both Kit O’Connell and Brian Sonenstein reporting from the S17 event.
If you’d like to help send Free Speech kits to an occupier who will be attending the one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, you can donate here.
And if you’d like to buy a Free Speech kit for yourself or someone you know, you can do it here.