Please note that JEF Europe can take no responsibility for injuries incurred, legal trouble attracted or any other difficulties you may face whilst carrying out your ‘Free Belarus’ 2013 action and ultimately the responsibility as to if, where, when and how to carry out the action resides with the individual JEF section, organization or person. JEF Europe would however, like to other the (by no means comprehensive) following helpful hints and tips on how to avoid such mishaps:
1. If approached by a police officer or other security official as a result of your action you should always treat any such officer with respect and follow their orders, if you have the legal freedom to do so, you should also question their decisions. If you don’t feel safe following their direction, let them know this. Often officers must always clearly display their identification numbers, or, if questioned, they must tell you this information. Do not turn your back on them.
2. Climbing is dangerous. So if you do decide to climb to gag a larger statue you need to do everything you can to mitigate the effects of gravity and falling. Beginner climbers are most vulnerable to accidents, so always use sound judgment; respect climbing dangers and don’t climb over your head.
3. Be extremely cautious not to damage the statues or other public property during your action. Using cloth to gag a statue is fine, but using stickers, paint or glue could result in damaging the statue and thus leave you liable for cleaning or repair costs.
4. If you choose to carry out your actions after dark, be wary of attracting unwanted attention, especially when using cameras to document the process as this could attract pickpockets.
5. When carrying out your public actions, be sure to ensure you are aware of whether the property is privately owned. Traditionally there are two types of trespassing on private land, for both types, some level of intent is required. A trespasser would probably not be prosecuted if the land was open and a ‘no trespassing’ sign is not displayed, as the trespasser’s conduct did not substantially interfere with the owner’s use of the property, and the trespasser left immediately on request – however as a general rule it is best to avoid doing so at all.
6. Despite the dangers being present, they are relatively low and unlikely to occur – so the most important tip for the action is to have fun, invite all your friends and don’t forget to document the action!