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How To Prep For The ‘March For Our Lives’ Event Happening This Weekend

This Saturday, activists across the globe are turning up for the fight against gun violence and taking part in the worldwide March For Our Lives Event. As you gear up and prepare for the rally, it’s important to know what to expect and have at the ready.

From keeping an I.D. on hand to bringing that weird fanny pack here’s a list of things to do and pack before the protest.

1. Find a march location and decide how you will get there.

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This is something you won’t want to leave until the last minute. One million people are expected to attend the event taking place in downtown D.C. alone. For anyone taking part in a march that is located in a big city, be prepared to tackle busy and slightly hairy public transportation systems, particularly because so many people will be trying to go to one place. Plan out safe routes that will help you get to and out of the march once its over.

2. Make it count, remember to sign the petition! (And RSVP)

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Make sure your presence at the rally is known on a platform that’s more valuable. Sign the March For Our Lives petition and make sure to also RSVP for the event. Signatures matter and signing the online petition will help push this movement forward. Don’t forget to continue your efforts after the march by voting and ringing up your local representatives.

3. What to wear, what to wear.

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Stay up to date on the weather and be prepped for unexpected showers and snow. Now is definitely not the time to let the weather rain us out. If you suspect that there could be even a slight drizzle pack a light poncho or raincoat.

4. Pick reliable shoes

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Remember, you’re going on a march. Get your feet into a pair of reliable comfy shoes that you can walk in for hours. Don’t forget to wear cozy socks!

5. Wear the right bag

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 You’ll need a place to AT LEAST keep your I.D., some cash and your cell phone. (If you’re packing rain gear, snacks, and water you’ll also want to have a bag that has space for that.) There’s no better time to wear that fanny pack you’ve been feeling iffy about than now. Or, go for a cross-body bag. Avoid big bulky purses that your mom won’t be around to carry for you, or could get you into trouble with security*.

6. Things to pack.

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Make sure you keep yourself comfy and energetic by packing items that are totally essential! 

7. Bring snacks

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Marches go on for hours. If this is your first time marching make sure you have everything you’ll need to be comfortable and energized. Energy snacks like granola and protein bars are great to bring along, but also be sure to pack water.

8. Pack water.

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You’re going to be walking for a while so it’s important to stay hydrated!

9. Wear your poncho

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Even if you don’t have a poster to bring, your hands will be occupied. Opt for a poncho or coat (bonus points if they have pockets!) instead of an umbrella so you can keep your hands free.

10. Get a portable phone charger.

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 Make sure you have a portable phone charger on hand in case of any emergencies.

11. Bring some signs.

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It’s possible that people will be handing out signs for you to carry at the march, but if you really want to make a statement, make your own!

12. And a teeny first-aid-kit.

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f you wear the right shoes, you probably won’t have to worry too much about blisters. But you can never be too prepared when it comes to Band-Aids.

13. Don’t forget your medication.

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If you need any medication, be sure to bring it with you. You will be allowed to bring medicine through checkpoints, but you can avoid any problems by making sure to keep your medication in their prescription packages and bottles.

14. Bring a bandana just in case.

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We’re hoping to have a peaceful protest this weekend, but just in case things get out of hand, be prepared for worse case scenarios which could include tear gas.

*There probably won’t be tear gas or mace sprayed at the event but canisters will likely be present because of security. In a scenario where tear gas is sprayed, be sure to protect your eyes and lungs. Poor water onto your bandana and hold over your nose and mouth as you leave. Don’t attempt to rinse your eyes out with water, seek medical assistance for this first. Because most of the marches have been approved by the city there will likely be medical personnel at the event you attend. If you suspect tear gas could be sprayed at your event, consider wearing glasses instead of contacts.

15. Pack your identification.

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Having your I.D. on hand is important for everyone, but for trans marchers, it is doubly important that you have identification that matches your gender identity should you run into any emergencies.

16.Stay safe.

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You’ll always want to bring safety to your march, you never know what could happen.

17. Bring a buddy.

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When you go to a big event like this you should never go alone. Stay safe and make sure you have at least one friend who can keep an out for you and vice versa. The buddy system is crucial here.

18. Have a plan

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Hopefully, you won’t get separated from a friend, but there’s a slight chance that you will. Have a plan of where and what time to meet your friends if you do get separated and someone’s phone dies (bring that charger!)

19. Stay away from counter-protesters.

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Anyone who shows up to the march this weekend to counter-protest is looking for a confrontation. Don’t engage with anyone who yells at you or attempts to get violent.

20. Know where your exit points are.

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Again all should run smoothly over the weekend, but should anything negative go down be sure to have an exit strategy. Once you arrive at the march have an idea of where your best exit points are around you to get away if anything happens.

21. Bring your voice.

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Unless you’re a march organizer you can probably leave your megaphone at home, but definitely bring your voice!

22. Send us your pics!

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Don’t forget to share your pics and videos from the march with FIERCE. Send us your photos with the hashtag #FIERCEESMarch and post your images in our comments section on FB!


Read: Survivor Of Florida School Shooting Emma Gonzalez Is Turning Her Anger Into Political Activism

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Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Entertainment

Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Luis Fonsi is kicking off 2021 with a new single. The Puerto Rican superstar premiered the music video for “Vacío” on Feb. 18 featuring rising Boricua singer Rauw Alejandro. The guys put a new spin on the classic “A Puro Dolor” by Son By Four.

Luis Fonsi throws it back to his románticas.

“I called Omar Alfanno, the writer of ‘A Puro Dolo,’ who is a dear friend,” Fonsi tells Latido Music. “I told him what my idea was [with ‘Vacío’] and he loved it. He gave me his blessing, so I wrote a new song around a few of those lines from ‘A Puro Dolor’ to bring back that nostalgia of those old romantic tunes that have been a part of my career as well. It’s a fresh production. It sounds like today, but it has that DNA of a true, old-school ballad.”

The world got to know Fonsi through his global smash hit “Despacito” with Daddy Yankee in 2017. The remix with Canadian pop star Justin Bieber took the song to new heights. That was a big moment in Fonsi’s music career that spans over 20 years.

There’s more to Fonsi than “Despacito.”

Fonsi released his first album, the fittingly-titled Comenzaré, in 1998. While he was on the come-up, he got the opportunity of a lifetime to feature on Christina Aguilera’s debut Latin album Mi Reflejo in 2000. The two collaborated on “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” Fonsi scored multiple Billboard Hot Latin Songs No. 1s in the years that followed and one of the biggest hits was “No Me Doy Por Vencido” in 2008. That was his career-defining romantic ballad.

“Despacito” remains the second most-viewed music video on YouTube with over 7.2 billion views. The hits did not stop there. Later in 2017, he teamed up with Demi Lovato for “Échame La Culpa,” which sits impressively with over 2 billion views.

He’s also appearing on The Voice next month.

Not only is Fonsi working on his new album, but also he’s giving advice to music hopefuls for the new season of The Voice that’s premiering on March 1. Kelly Clarkson tapped him as her Battle Advisor. In an exclusive interview, Fonsi talked with us about “Vacío,” The Voice, and a few of his greatest hits.

What was the experience like to work with Rauw Alejandro for “Vacío”?

Rauw is cool. He’s got that fresh sound. Great artist. Very talented. Amazing onstage. He’s got that great tone and delivery. I thought he had the perfect voice to fit with my voice in this song. We had talked about working together for awhile and I thought that this was the perfect song. He really is such a star. What he’s done in the last couple of years has been amazing. I love what he brought to the table on this song.

Now I want to go through some of your greatest hits. Do you remember working with Christina Aguilera for her Spanish album?

How could you not remember working with her? She’s amazing. That was awhile back. That was like 1999 or something like that. We were both starting out and she was putting out her first Spanish album. I got to sing a beautiful ballad called “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” I got to work with her in the studio and see her sing in front of the mic, which was awesome. She’s great. One of the best voices out there still to this day.

What’s one of your favorite memories of “No Me Doy Por Vencido”?

“No Me Doy Por Vencido” is one of the biggest songs in my career. I think it’s tough to narrow it down just to one memory. I think in general the message of the song is what sticks with me. The song started out as a love song, but it turned into an anthem of hope. We’ve used the song for different important events and campaigns. To me, that song has such a powerful message. It’s bigger than just a love song. It’s bringing hope to people. It’s about not giving up. To be able to kind of give [people] hope through a song is a lot more powerful than I would’ve ever imagined. It’s a very special song.

I feel the message is very relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic we’re living through.

Oh yeah! I wrote that song a long time ago with Claudia Brant, and during the first or second month of the lockdown when we were all stuck at home, we did a virtual writing session and we rewrote “No Me Doy Por Vencido.” Changing the lyrics, kind of adjusting them to this situation that we’re living now. I haven’t recorded it. I’ll do something with it eventually. It’s really cool. It still talks about love. It talks about reuniting. Like the light at the end of the tunnel. It has the hope and love backbone, but it has to do a lot with what we’re going through now.

What do you think of the impact “Despacito” made on the industry?

It’s a blessing to be a part of something so big. Again, it’s just another song. We write these songs and the moment you write them, you don’t really know what’s going to happen with them. Or sometimes you run into these surprises like “Despacito” where it becomes a global phenomenon. It goes No. 1 in places where Spanish songs had never been played. I’m proud. I’m blessed. I’m grateful to have worked with amazing people like Daddy Yankee. Like Justin Bieber for the remix and everyone else involved in the song. My co-writer Erika Ender. The producers Mauricio Rengifo and Andrés Torres. It was really a team effort and it’s a song that obviously changed my career forever.

What was the experience like to work with Demi Lovato on “Echáme La Culpa”?

She’s awesome! One of the coolest recording sessions I’ve ever been a part of. She really wanted to sing in Spanish and she was so excited. We did the song in Spanish and English, but it was like she was more excited about the Spanish version. And she nailed it! She nailed it from the beginning. There was really not much for me to say to her. I probably corrected her once or twice in the pronunciation, but she came prepared and she brought it. She’s an amazing, amazing, amazing vocalist.

You’re going to be a battle advisor on The Voice. What was the experience like to work with Kelly Clarkson?

She’s awesome. What you see is what you get. She’s honest. She’s funny. She’s talented. She’s humble and she’s been very supportive of my career. She invited me to her show and it speaks a lot that she wanted me to be a part of her team as a Battle Advisor for the new season. She supports Latin music and I’m grateful for that. She’s everything you hope she would be. She’s the real deal, a true star, and just one of the coolest people on this planet.

What can we expect from you in 2021?

A lot of new music. Obviously, everything starts today with “Vacío.” This is literally the beginning of what this new album will be. I’ve done nothing but write and record during the last 10 months, so I have a bunch of songs. Great collaborations coming up. I really think the album will be out probably [in the] third or fourth quarter this year. The songs are there and I’m really eager for everybody to hear them.

Read: We Finally Have A Spanish-Language Song As The Most Streamed Song Of All Time

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Lifestyles Of The Rich And Dangerous: Cartels Are Using TikTok To Lure Young People

Things That Matter

Lifestyles Of The Rich And Dangerous: Cartels Are Using TikTok To Lure Young People

If you’ve ever wondered what someone with a bulletproof vest and an AR-15 would look like flossing — the dance, not the method of dental hygiene — apparently the answer to that question can be found on TikTok.

Unfortunately, it’s not as a part of some absurdist sketch comedy or surreal video art installation. Instead, it’s part of a growing trend of drug cartels in Mexico using TikTok as a marketing tool. Nevermind the fact that Mexico broke grim records last year for the number of homicides and cartel violence, the cartels have found an audience on TikTok and that’s a serious cause for concern.

Mexican cartels are using TikTok to gain power and new recruits.

Just a couple of months ago, a TikTok video showing a legit high-speed chase between police and drug traffickers went viral. Although it looked like a scene from Netflix’s Narcos series, this was a very real chase in the drug cartel wars and it was viewed by more than a million people.

Typing #CartelTikTok in the social media search bar brings up thousands of videos, most of them from people promoting a “cartel culture” – videos with narcocorridos, and presumed members bragging about money, fancy cars and a luxury lifestyle.

Viewers no longer see bodies hanging from bridges, disembodied heads on display, or highly produced videos with messages to their enemies. At least not on TikTok. The platform is being used mainly to promote a lifestyle and to generate a picture of luxury and glamour, to show the ‘benefits’ of joining the criminal activities.

According to security officials, the promotion of these videos is to entice young men who might be interested in joining the cartel with images of endless cash, parties, military-grade weapons and exotic pets like tiger cubs.

Cartels have long used social media to shock and intimidate their enemies.

And using social media to promote themselves has long been an effective strategy. But with Mexico yet again shattering murder records, experts on organized crime say Cartel TikTok is just the latest propaganda campaign designed to mask the blood bath and use the promise of infinite wealth to attract expendable young recruits.

“It’s narco-marketing,” said Alejandra León Olvera, an anthropologist at Spain’s University of Murcia, in a statement to the New York Times. The cartels “use these kinds of platforms for publicity, but of course it’s hedonistic publicity.”

Mexico used to be ground zero for this kind of activity, where researchers created a new discipline out of studying these narco posts. Now, gangs in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, and the United States are also involved.

A search of the #CartelTikTok community and its related accounts shows people are responding. Public comments from users such as “Y’all hiring?” “Yall let gringos join?” “I need an application,” or “can I be a mule? My kids need Christmas presents,” are on some of the videos.

One of the accounts related to this cartel community publicly answered: “Of course, hay trabajo para todos,” “I’ll send the application ASAP.” “How much is the pound in your city?” “Follow me on Instagram to talk.” The post, showing two men with $100 bills and alcohol, had more than a hundred comments.

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