The @OccupyHouston movement has goals to meet and stands proud with the 99%, but we want to make sure everyone stays safe, knows their rights, and keeps this occupation a PEACEFUL one. Here are some handy do’s and dont’s you should follow.
- DON’T litter. In fact, if you see trash, pick it up! There’s a $200 fine for littering. It’s also gross and goes against our goals.
- DON’T block entrances or exits to buildings.
- DO keep to the sidewalks and make sure that others can get by on the sidewalks if they need to. Stay out of the streets!
- DON’T bring microphones, bullhorns, air horns, or electric instruments. Those require permits. If you need to be loud then use the people’s microphone!
- DO look out for people who are getting too rowdy or violent. If you see one find your nearest peacekeeper to calm them down.
- DO keep a buddy! You and your buddy will look out for each other and make sure you stay safe. Never lose sight of your buddy!
- If you see someone isolated please DO make them your buddy.
- DON’T scream or swear at people. Remember we’re here for the 99%. Screaming and swearing at people will only antagonize them. We want them joining us.
- On the other hand, please DO be as loud as you want.
- DO bring your friends and family. This is a peaceful event and affects us all.
- DON’T get distracted from our mission. Remember why we’re here!
- DON’T light ANY open flames. There’s a city ordinance in effect that bans open flames of any kind in Houston city parks. This means everything from grilling to smoking and all points in between. Please smoke outside the park and remember to throw your cigarette butts away!
- DON’T interfere with the workers setting up the Bayou City Arts Festival. Occupy Houston supports culture and the arts. Artists and laborers coexist with us in the 99%!
- DO know your rights and the 1st Amendment. We have our rights to free speech and to peaceably assemble IF we are “petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances”. What’s that mean? That means you can occupy (but not obstruct) and peacefully protest for political reasons.
- DON’T think you’re allowed to do anything you want in the name of freedom of speech. Limit your speech to political speech and stay within the law!
- DO keep the cameras out and snap plenty of pictures! A picture is worth a thousand words, and we have a chance to show the world what an organized mass is capable of. Snapping pictures of our signs is a good way to show unity with our allies and the rest of the movement.
- DON’T escalate violence. We are a peaceful movement. Violence won’t solve this problem.
- DON’T let others escalate violence and DO protect each other.
Follow these unfortunate tips if the unlikely worst happens and the law runs afoul of our peaceful movement. Remember, stay safe!
- If tear gas is deployed DO wet your sleeve with saliva or whatever liquid you can find and breathe through it. It’ll provide a simple air filter for you.
- If physically confronted DON’T fight back. Go limp and protect your core.
- If you have asthma or a heart condition DO display that fact! You’ll be a less likely target. Keep your medicine on you. Stay safe!
- Pepper spray can put you into shock if you’re unprepared. If you’re sprayed DON’T panic. DO keep making full and deep breaths and controlled exhalations. If you practice Yoga or Tai Chi then you know what to do. It’ll hurt, a lot, but it’ll pass.
Big thanks to our legal team for their research and making these issues known. Remember, stay safe out there!