After an intense demo

  • For many people intense demonstrations are exciting and exhilarating. But even the most prepared and seasoned protestor can get  traumatized or burnt out.  Even if you don't feel stressed take it easy for a few days after the demonstration to recover.
  • If you have been a part of, or have witnessed, violent events, or had some residual belief shattered that the police were not that bad, you may have strong emotional reactions to this experience. If you can, talk over your experiences with people you trust as soon as possible. Talking about the specifics of what happened might cause more emotional trauma, so consider focusing more on how you feel. Try to do this before sleeping.
  • Eat nourishing food, get some sleep, do whatever helps you relax.
  • Even if you don't feel terribly stressed you may have nightmares, a short temper or other reactions. This is very common, and may also be a sign that you might benefit from talking about the emotions brought up by your experience. 

(Responding after a stressful action. This link could help you).

Then go to: 5 Question group debriefing for demos and role plays
This is a way to understand what happened at confusing events (and intense demonstrations can be very confusing), and creatively devise potential options for the future. This is important so you feel you can all do better in a future intense demo. It is also used for trainings with role plays, when we set up confrontation scenarios between police and protesters, etc..

1. What happened?
(In intense situations, it is not always obvious to an individual what actually happened. When everyone answers, we get a more global perspective).

2. How did you feel?
(Feelings are important to recognize and learn how they affect our ability to be effective in intense situations).

Who made decisions?
(Was it you, other medics, protesters, police, or no decisions made? This is to help understand how decisions are made in intense or chaotic situations).

4. What decisions were made?
(It is sometimes not apparent that decisions were made. This helps us to understand this dynamic).

5. What other options could be chosen to for a better result?
(We can learn to look for options, even in a crisis).

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