Promoting positive narratives about protests and protesters is important for two reasons: protest is one of the freedoms guaranteed to citizens: the right to peaceful assembly and the right to expression. Protecting that right is vital for any society but as we know from global statistics and national research as shown in the Global Expression Report and Kenya report this fundamental right is under threat.
To protect that right, we have been working on changing negative perceptions of protestors which have been promoted in various media. We have found that by documenting protests as they happen we can generate proof of protesters’ positive conduct, and also identify areas of improvement also for law enforcement officers facilitating the protests.
We know that in most cases, riots ensue only when the police intervene with force. It is in the absence of documentation that human rights violations during protests goes unpunished and protesters continue to be labelled as violent
In support of one of our key objectives in the #FreeToProtest coalition in Kenya, WITNESS.ORG has shared with us their resources on documenting protests available on their website.
The Filming Protests and Demonstrations Infographic has tips for filming safely and ethically at protests and the How To Film Protests: A Video for Change Guide is a seven part video series that examines how to livestream protests, and to blur protesters’ identities using YouTube’s blurring feature.
We shall be sharing these resources with community activists from Kenya to help them to be informed about how they can add this to their current understanding about how to monitor and document protests.
For more information on this and other resources on documenting protests, please write to Kenya@article19.org or call +254727862230.