39 – To Risk, Or Not To Risk

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SERIOUS QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF

BEFORE MAKING YOUR DECISION

TO RISK (OR NOT RISK) ARREST

 

It is best to advise your Legal Chair – in advance — of any of these situations.

 

1) Those with outstanding arrest warrants:

  • People with outstanding arrest warrants will be treated differently.
  • They may be held for a long period and returned to the arresting jurisdiction.
  • People with outstanding arrest warrants should NOT participate in the arrest portion of the action.

 

2) Trans:

  • Typically, trans* folk are processed and jailed according to the gender stated on their ID.
  • A person whose valid ID is not the same gender as their appearance often faces special challenges.
  • The jail might require a change into jail clothing (including loss of wigs and/or under garments).

 

3) People taking medications:

  • There are potential problems for people taking medication!
  • IT HAS BEEN ADVISED THAT YOU NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE ARREST UNLESS YOU CAN DO WITHOUT YOUR MEDICATIONS FOR UP TO 20 HOURS.
  • Any prescription medications you will need should be left in its original container with clearly marked pharmacy label displaying your name, contents, doctor’s name and dosage instructions.
  • It is recommended that you notify your squad leader, who will tell our Soulforce legal chair. Letter from your doctor could be very helpful.

 

4) Infectious Disease Status (HIV, TB, etc.):

  • If you inform the authorities that you have an infectious disease such as tuberculosis or an active HIV-related infection, you are likely to be separated from the others.
  • Be certain the Soulforce attorney is aware of your health status.

5) People with Disabilities:

  • Physically disabled persons may not be arrested at all, and are not usually placed in a cell with others who are arrested.
  • Sometimes special accommodations are made but don’t count on it.

 

6) Stop Drinking Coffee a week or so before your possible arrest.

  • To suffer the first stage of caffeine withdrawal in jail is a very painful experience.
  • Nicotine withdrawal can also be a problem.

 

7) About toilets.

  • Know where they are.
  • Use them if possible before arrest. Another opportunity might not present itself for hours.

 

8) Do not bring valuables:

  • Bring only a picture ID, $100 cash, your name badge with your medical and contact information tucked neatly into the back of the plastic holder.
  • Don’t wear rings, watches, necklaces, or other jewelry.
  • Wear comfortable but not showy or risqué underwear.
  • Just before arrest hand extra items like sunscreen, hats, layered clothing, copies of your case, maps to your squad leader.

 

9) Sun Preparation:

  • Be prepared for long hot waits in direct sunlight (Apply sunscreen before the action).

 

10). Dress for Cold Jails

  • Be prepared for long cold waits on the line or in jail.
  • (Wear layered clothing.)

 

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