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Be safe! De-escalation

There is a demonstrated possibility of violent behavior among those who attend Trump rallies. Please think about this ahead of time and be mindful of how you will respond. Below are a few thoughts and suggestions for how to de-escalate any conflict.

 

Never be violent yourself. You will increase the intensity of the encounter, risk further harm and become subject to arrest.

 

First, calm yourself as thoroughly as you can. Take a deep breath and remember that you came in peace because of your positive values. Then take another deep breath.

Try to look and sound as nonthreatening as possible.

  • Use a low and calm voice

  • Be aware of your body language and adjust it to appear relaxed even if you aren’t

  • Drop your shoulders

  • Allow your hands to be open and in front of you

  • Don’t point

  • Keep your facial expression neutral

  • Take a step back if the person is less than four feet from you

  • Avoid excessive gesturing

 

For the sake of your own balance and stability, stand with your feet a body-width apart.

 

If your goal is to leave the auditorium or parking lot, smile and keep walking without engaging at all.

 

If you engage or become unavoidably engaged, maintain relaxed eye contact. It is good if you can also glance to see what and who is around you and if there is space to step away.

  • Listen for a while without interrupting.

  • Try to express common ground, e.g. “We all want a safe country.”

  • Or try introducing the personal, e.g. “My name is Steve; what’s yours?”

  • Acknowledge the person’s feelings even if you disagree with them.

  • Ask open ended questions

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Be safe, everyone!