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The government of Argentina, led by President Mauricio Marci, has begun implementing actions aimed at restricting the right to protest. For example, the Action Protocol of the Security Forces of the State in Public Demonstrations, recently authorized by the Argentine Minister of Security, limits the right to freedom of expression by restricting the space where journalists and communicators can be physically located during demonstrations.

Protocols like these can hamper the work of those who visually record and report the facts during protests. Often, filming and the use of video can be the best way to assert the public’s right to demonstrate, to protect protesters from false accusations, and to expose police violence.

March 24, 2016 will be the 40th anniversary of the National Day for Memory and Justice. This day marks the beginning of the 1976 coup, which led to seven years of military dictatorship during which more than 30,000 students, intellectuals, union leaders, artists and others were disappeared and murdered, and infants were systematically kidnapped and sold, amongst many other crimes against humanity. This year the anniversary coincides with an official visit from US President Obama. Organizations in Argentina, such as Cine en Movimiento (Cinema in Motion), are preparing to cover these events.

For activists planning to film the protests, here are some quick tips for capturing and sharing footage more safely and effectively:

Before filming

  • Work in a team, establish your roles and responsibilities
  • Assess risks and develop a security plan
  • Know your rights
  • Prepare your equipment

During filming

  • If safe, state your name into the camera or record it in writing
  • Capture the time and location
  • If you encounter police abuse, begin recording immediately and don’t stop until the incident has ended
  • Document identifying details of the officers involved

After filming

  • Archive your video: preserve the metadata, especially if it could be used in legal proceedings
  • Evaluate the risks of sharing the video publicly
  • Develop a plan for coordinated distribution in various spaces


Image: WITNESS Brazil (coming soon in English!)

10 tips for filming protests and demonstrations, and accompanying 5-part video series

Filming protests in teams

Filming with a mobile phone

Documenting human rights violations

Concealing identities in interviews

Translated from Spanish by Jackie Zammuto

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