In light of the JNU attacks, Mumbai is holding a Relay Protest at the Gateway of India. This is not the first one amongst the anti-CAA stir, with Shaheen Bagh, Delhi's protest still ongoing since December 15th. If you don't know what relay protests are, here's everything you need to know before you join.
How Relay Protests Work
The point of relay protests is to maintain a continual, peaceful resistance without a reduction in numbers. To do this, people take turns to participate, rest, and rejoin, much like relay races.
Unlike rallies, relay protests usually take place at a fixed spot. People bring supplies such as food and sleeping bags to stay for long periods of time.
Relay protests are much more likely to attract media attention without disrupting peace and order. This is due to their long-term, continuous nature. People's determination and dedication to the cause shines through. Especially in cases like Shaheen Bagh, where the protests continued despite the nail-biting winters of the North through Christmas and New Year's.
Preparing For Relay Protests
Expect to be there for a long time, and pack accordingly. Hence, bring as much water as possible, snacks to share, bedsheets/sleeping bags, and power banks.
Also, make sure you have enough money to last the amount of time you plan to stay. This means it is essential to plan in advance; chart out the transport and routes to use, alternative roads you can take. Avoid using private transport and stick to public modes instead.
What To Do During Relay Protests
Firstly, preserve your energy. Take turns with a friend, don't tire yourself out in the first few hours or days. Sit whenever possible, and don't block roads or disrupt order.
Do your bit to make the relay protests an inclusive and safe space for everyone. Don't disrupt others when they speak, and take turns to voice your opinions. Remain peaceful and friendly, keep calm.
Whatever you do, do not engage miscreants or troublemakers. Try to keep a distance from anyone with clear political affiliations or agendas. If there appears to be tension or aggression emerging, stay clear of the area, and move away. Encourage those around you to do the same.
Relay protests are about exercising our rights to defend democracy and the Constitution. Stay safe, aware, and do your bit.