Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching & Service
Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching & Service

Participation in Social Action and Protest

We encourage everyone to heed recommendations from political and public health officials to “stay home” during the pandemic and engage in nonviolent social action and protest in ways that protect your physical health and mental well-bring.

We have had inquiries from members of our community (faculty, staff, and students) who, true to the Georgetown spirit of Hoyas for Others, are interested in learning more about or are planning to engage in safe, direct, and social action. Information on this webpage below and linked in the red button above has been compiled by staff members of the Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching & Service at Georgetown University (new window) (CSJ) and Division of Student Affairs based on their experiences and recommendations. While these opportunities are not being run or endorsed by CSJ or Georgetown University, we work directly with many of the partners on this list.

Know Your Rights: Protest Rights

Prepare before heading out into the streets. Read through the thorough American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Protesters’ Rights.

For Hoyas planning to engage in protest and social action, CSJ encourages you to create a small, trustworthy TEAM, as described by the East Point Peace Academy. CSJ does not recommend that you engage in protest or social action alone.

* There is a new Protest Hotline for Washington, DC from the Public Defenders Service. All calls are confidential and free, and the phone line is available 24 hours/day, 7 days a week. If you or someone you know has been arrested, has an open arrest warrant, or has been questioned by law enforcement related to protesting in DC, the Protest Hotline is available to answer your legal questions. All calls will be handled by a criminal defense attorney. *

Know Your Rights: Stopped by Police

ACLU offers a description of what the law requires and offers strategies for handling police encounters.

Our colleagues at Canisius College, a fellow Jesuit University in upstate New York, have developed an informative pamphlet on What to Do When Stopped by the Police.

Minimize your Risks of COVID-19

Georgetown University Medical Center has developed detailed evidence-based suggestions and a harm reduction field guide for governments, organizers, and individuals to proactively take steps to minimize the risk of COVID-19.

Cases of COVID-19 are on the rise around the country and the world. Stay safe and healthy this Election season no matter how you participate. Read up on some tips and suggestions for taking extra precautions during the pandemic.

Useful Digital Security Technologies to Minimize Digital Risk

The need to communicate digitally is critical to successful, safe protest. Protect your communications from surveillance and intervention. It is likely that cell and internet service will be interrupted, especially in Washington, DC, with large-scale protests. Create a plan to “check-in safe” with family and friends.

Nonviolent Direct Action

There are hundreds of effective methods of nonviolent protest and persuasion, intervention, and noncooperation. Read about 198 of these methods through the Global Nonviolent Action database at Swarthmore College.

Professor Eli McCarthy and the DC Peace Team offer virtual training. Check out the DC Peace Team schedule when includes workshops on Community Safety for Election Scenarios and Active Bystander Intervention.

Unfamiliar with nonviolence? Listen to episodes of the Cafe Miniseries from Nonviolent Peaceforce and reflect on the relevance of the global use of unarmed civilian protection for the United States context.

Be Informed

There are many social injustices related to citizen participation in protest and social action. You may have experienced these injustices. This may be new information for you. We encourage you to listen to your fellow Hoyas. Check out these blog posts at the GU Journal on Poverty Law and Policy and commit to being better informed about our democracy.