012017 – Inauguration Day Protests

As the United States prepares to inaugurate its 45th president, many countries have announced planned protests and demonstrations at U.S. Embassies and Consulates beginning 20 January 2017 through the following two to three days. Although it may appear to be exciting to watch or participate in a protest, in some countries it is illegal for U.S. citizens to witness, take pictures, record and/or participate in them while abroad.

It is important to understand that, while most demonstrations remain peaceful, some result in vandalism, assaults and sometimes causalities. Just this week, Argentina and several other countries have experienced protests that started peacefully but turned violent. In Argentina, police used tear gas and fired rubber bullets into the crowds to disburse the crowd and stop the violence.

Out of an abundance of caution, we recommend UT Dallas travelers abroad to:

  • Verify that the phone, and e-mail in your MyTrips profile in International SOS and Concur profile will help UT Dallas reach you in case of emergency.
  • Register your UT Dallas related travel itinerary, including all side trips in International SOS and print your ISOS card.
  • In case of emergency, contact local assistance services and International SOS. If you have specific safety concerns, contact local law enforcement authorities.

Stay connected and aware of current developments

  • Enroll in the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) if a U.S. Citizen.  Report with your home country embassy at your destination if not a U.S. Citizen.
  • Stay in touch with your family members and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency.
  • Monitor your UT Dallas email address for travel updates from ISOS and UT Dallas.
  • Download the ISOS assistance app to get travel notifications and alerts relevant to your destination.
  • Monitor the media and local developments closely and follow any instructions or advice issued by the local authorities.
  • Keep your phone charged and on you at all times. In the event of a crisis, UT Dallas will send a welfare check that you must reply to.

Be prepared

  • Review or create an emergency communication plan.
  • Avoid large crowds, crowded places, and demonstrations.
  • Vacate an area immediately at the first sign that demonstrators or security force personnel are beginning to gather.
  • In the event of violence, return to your accommodation or another secure location as soon as it is safe to do so, and stand fast until the situation normalizes.
  • Do not antagonize protesters or attempt to cross roadblocks.
  • Be aware of immediate surroundings and exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation.

Sources

We wish you safe travels!

The risk information in this report is retrieved from the listed sources. It provides general guidance for UT Dallas travelers. Please note the publication date of this post, and go to the direct sources listed above for the most up-to-date information.  The information in this post may change without prior notice.