Protecting Dissent: A conversation on tactics, best practices and challenges for online and offline safety during protests

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Protecting Dissent: A conversation on tactics, best practices and challenges for online and offline safety during protests
Presenter(s) Sandra Patargo, Júlia Lima
Title(s) Deputy Officer at the Protection and Defense Programme (Mexico), Officer at the Protection Programme (Brazil)
Organization(s) Article 19 (Mexico and Brazil)
Project(s) Protest, freedom of expression, protection
Country(ies) Mexico and Brazil
Social media @spatargo @article19mex @article19org
2017 theme

In recent years, all regions have witnessed a rise in violence and repression from the authorities during protests. In an attempt to reduce civic space and dissent, security forces have increased the use of methods such as disproportionate use of force, arbitrary detentions, sexual abuse, incorrect use of tear gas, use of rubber bullets, bodlily injuries, lack of medical service, violent forced evictions, internet shutdowns, kettling, among others.

Also, new strategies of surveillance and monitoring individuals and groups are being used to criminalize social movements and activists and have been requiring news digital and physical prevention and protection techniques to allow these groups to continue their struggle and defend themselves from this process of criminalization.

In Mexico, “la red #RompeElMiedo (“Break the fear” network) was born in 2013 in Mexico City as a campaign that eventually evolved into a network conformed by alternative media groups, journalists, activists and human right defenders, working together online and offline to promote and achieve protection and safety during high-risk coverage, specially protests.

In Brazil, since 2013 several digital and physical strategies developed in network by protesters, media activists, popular communicators also supported by civil society organizations helped groups to continue protesting and acting in the coverage of police violence during protests.

Although some of these initiatives have presented positive changes, we are well aware of the continuous challenges we are facing online and offline as the dispute for civic space continues to be a priority.

In this session we would like to share and discuss the challenges and successful strategies for activists, human right defenders and journalists during protests, focusing mainly on the role of the internet, the global south and gender targeted violence.

Format Conversation
Target Groups Journalists and media; digital rights activists; communication professionals; digital security trainers; software developers
Length 3 hours
Skill Level Novice
Language English


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