You might think a mobile phone, a light jacket and an opinion are all you need before heading down to your local Occupy Wall Street protest. But here are seven other useful tools that will keep you prepared for whatever happens while you're taking it to the streets.
Patrick Thomas's handy Protest Stencil Toolkit packs 46 easy-to-use die-cut stencils that require nothing more than a sign, some paint and a message. The book includes iconic symbols from some of the most memorable movements of the 20th century. As well as a handful of more contemporary designs that reflect modern concerns like the environment and the economy. It also comes with a custom typeface stencil because simple words can be a protester's most powerful tool. $US28.
If your protest happens to run well into the wee hours of the morning, you're not only going to want to stay warm, but you'll also need a convenient place to stop and sleep. And it doesn't get more convenient than the Selk'bag wearable sleeping bag. Available in sizes for kids to adults, they're made from the same thermal materials as a regular sleeping bag, but with sleeves and legs for maximum mobility. Perfect for emergency relocations in the middle of the night. $US50 to $US160.
The Occupy Wall Street protests are first and foremost intended to be peaceful, non-violent demonstrations. But when large numbers of people who are fervent about their cause clash with police, and even each other, things can quickly turn ugly. So adequately protect yourself with these Red Man full body suits. Velcro straps make them easy to put on, while ample foam padding makes you impervious to blunt trauma and other physical attacks. $US1300.
Nightsticks and riot shields aren't the only tools you have to worry about when police are called in to quell a protest that's gotten out of hand. Smoke grenades and tear gas can hinder your escape route, so you'll want to keep a couple of these pocket-friendly Breath Of Life masks within easy reach. Growing up you were always told not to put a plastic bag over your head, but these give the wearer 15-20 minutes of smoke and fume free breathing while also protecting their eyes, nose and ears. More than enough time to put some distance between yourself and the chaos. $US35.
Briefcases and financial districts go hand in hand, so blend in with the usual suspects while toting a convenient place to 'make a deposit.' The PETT portable toilet has a tripod design capable of supporting up to 230kg while containing your indiscretions in an easy to dispose of, chemically enhanced, ziploc plastic bag. It also folds up to a briefcase sized package making it easy to transport and hide. $US89.
We're allowed by law to take videos and photos in a public place, but we all know there are those who serve and protect who don't necessarily agree. So why risk your expensive DSLR when this compact button camera remains hidden out of sight while capturing HD videos and 7MP stills. Match it with a hipster sweater and no one will suspect a thing. $US65.
Social media has already proven itself to be an invaluable protest tool, particularly during the Egyptian Revolution earlier this year. It gives a global voice to anyone with internet access or a connected smartphone, and it has yet to be silenced by even the most ambitious censorship initiatives. Protests are most effective in large numbers, and with Twitter you can rally almost the entire world to your cause. Free.