On a warm sunny day at a big protest against war, the drums start getting on your nerves. You move away, but soon have a splitting headache.
So you find your way to the nearest StreetMedic or the first aid tent.
"My head is killing me," you say, and after a few questions, the Streetmedic prescribes water.
You're on the picket line, walking in circles in your hunting clothes in driving sleet. You're shivering like a motorboat. Even in your armpits, your gloved hands are going numb.
When you ask the StreetMedic to stop hopping up and down to help you get warm, she gives you a mug of hot chocolate, ginger tea, or hot water.
It turns out many health problems on the street can be prevented or helped by drinking enough water. Everything is made worse by dehydration, and most people don't drink enough water at rallies.
You say no thanks to the water and ask for some Advil or a handwarmer instead. "Why?" asks the StreetMedic.
You reply with a StreetMedic's most feared words: "It will make me pee."
Peeing is good for you! Edit
Health problems at protests ranging from headaches to frostnip, and heat exhaustion to hypothermia, can be prevented by bringing along a liter of water and sipping it throughout the day (especially if you dress properly). If you will be out all afternoon, bring two liters of water per person, or take a break to refill the water bottle. Lay off the coffee, beer, and pop. In addition to their other effects, all make you pee out more water than you hold.
If you have a problem and visit the StreetMedics, they'll probably ask when you last peed and what color it was. If you haven't peed in hours or it was dark colored, you're probably dehydrated. Drink more water.
Not peeing is bad for you Edit
Okay, so if you don't have to pee, drink more water. We went over this. But if you have to pee and hold it for a long time, you can cause other problems; including painful, irritating Urinary Tract Infections.
Street peeing for experts Edit
If there's a public restroom, then you're all set. But a couple hours trying to find a restaurant trying to pee for free without losing the march, and you'll get a tiny glimpse at being homeless. After your educational experience, if no business will let you use their restroom, it's time to throw in the towel and pee outside.
Grab a friend, drop down an alley, and while they watch the street, pee. If you squat to pee, don't worry about peeing on your shoes. Just hunker down with your pants around your knees, brace against the wall if you want, and sigh a sweet sigh of relief. Carry some tissue in your pocket or purse to wipe with. You can throw it in a trashcan or Dumpster if you want.
If you have a vulva, consider carrying a pStyle with you. Test it out at home before the rally so you can get used to using it. Once you try it, you won't want to go back! If you are trans masculine identified and don't like the pStyle, consider bringing an STP packer along with you. Again, try it out at home before heading out to the rally!
Don't worry about police-- public urination isn't usually high on their list of priorities during a protest. And anyway, your friend is watching out for you. So enjoy your act of back-alley civil disobedience. Trust me: nobody's watching.
But if you still feel public urination is an act of moral decline, consider carrying a Gotta Go Poncho. This pocket sized restroom consists of an opaque hooded poncho, a pee bag with unisex receiver cup, poop bag, and a toilet cloth.
Group operations and intermediate tactics Edit
It is always safer to go to protests in groups. And it pays off when you really have to pee. Your friends can block off an alleyway or a corner while each person who has to pee feels that active solidarity.
At big protests, groups can even form a circle facing out in the middle of a march, while one member pees in the middle of the circle. It's probably a good idea to do this a little way back from the front lines.
Advanced tactics Edit
People have been peeing outside for many years. Some advances street tactics and techniques require practice or special gear, but as long as it keeps you peeing-- and drinking water-- practice away!
- A woman's Guide on How to Pee Standing Up: http://www.restrooms.org/standing.html [broken]
- TravelMate Urinary Products: http://travelmateinfo.com [broken]
Finally-- health information about pee Edit
Normal human pee is composed of urea, water, and salts... It is not dirty, but is actually sterile when it leaves your body. So if some did splash on your shoe-- so what! Just chant: "End War and Pee More!"
If there's any blood or mucus in your pee, or if it hurts to pee, or if you notice anything strange about your pee, let a StreetMedic know. Watching your pee is a great way to monitor the health of your whole body!
Originally brought to you by the Public Urination Squad of Three Rivers Action Medics