I'm not going to dwell on or dissect what just happened. I think most of us expected it, and we expect nothing more from the legal system across the country. But seeing as this project started as one of preparedness, I want to remind us all of a few things.
The System isn't Changing: Don't pin your hopes and mental health on the government suddenly coming through for anyone. It is a corrupt entity from top to bottom and the sooner we unhitch our wagon from it, the better. That said, it is perfectly acceptable to be furious.
Some basic Op-Sec: Be careful about how you portray your fury. What you say on the internet stays. Don't write something in haste that will come back to bite you in the ass. We're all of a mind and we all want to speak it but it is a bad idea to do so unfiltered. Download Signal but don't pretend it will protect you completely. Don't record video of protesters. Turn off your phone at protests if you're not using it/acting as comms for your friends–better still, don't bring your phone.
Physical Security: Non-descript clothing. Goggles or at least shatter-resistant work glasses. We have no excuse not to have our faces covered up right now, so cover up your face. Watch your backs, watch your backs, watch your backs. Cars are fast and some are quiet. Keep an eye out for obstacles that would prevent a vehicle from striking you–bollards, trees, statues, whatever. The far-right is going to be as emboldened by this as we are angry, so be on the lookout for weapons, for people and dress that are out of place, etc. Practice good situational awareness. When the police are hanging back in numbers, it usually means they're about to fuck up your day. Don't be a stagnant pond–flow like water. What I mean is, run. Find another location. Then run again.
What to Pack: A lot of water, a little portable food, hand-warmers, spare masks, saline solution, painkillers, earplugs, a change of clothes and a plastic bag in which to place teargas-contaminated items–not perfect but will help stop the spread of irritants. Rubber gloves, a full first-aid kit. If you know how to use a tourniquet, bring one, and or other advanced lifesaving equipment like Quikclot, chest seals, etc. These items are lightweight and can make a difference if you're educated on them.
Winter is Coming: This is as good a time as any to remind you to winterize your bugout bags, your cars, etc. Pack extra layers of warm clothing into your bag. Pack an extra blanket in your vehicle. Extra food in both. Pack extra firestarting supplies and check what you've got to make sure fuel hasn't dried out and lighters are still working. An extra tarp, emergency blanket, or small tent can make a big difference if you're caught somewhere or need to flee home. For more tips, check older winter preparedness posts.
Please be careful. Online, in the streets, everywhere. The wind is not in our favor in this country and I don't foresee that changing anytime soon. Take care of yourself and each other. And, remember, the best this situation had to offer was a guilty verdict: the system, temporarily, agreeing that an injustice occurred and meting out, poorly, what it considers justice. We can do better. We have to do better.