More about de-escalation

I’ve been thinking and trying to prepare for what is about to happen in the Pittsburgh area after the election. There are many people who are worried about voter suppression happening at the polls tomorrow and the de-escalations trainings I’ve linked below cover those scenarios. It’s important to know the rules for your state before going to the polls. The most important thing I got from these sections of the presentations was about not worrying about how long its going to take to vote. Don’t be afraid to get out of line to get a poll worker if you are being harassed (or if you see someone being harassed and they have indicated they want you to intervene). Saving your place in line is not your primary concern. De-escalating a situation and getting the right help is more important. If you are voting in person, plan on it taking a little longer than normal. Also, remember everyone is feeling a little anxious, so the more calm you can be (or appear to be) the better it is for everyone around you.

I mentioned in Preparing for post election times with de-escalation training some of the trainings I’ve attended and other’s I planned to attend. Most of those are over and linked below is the follow-up information and recordings of presentations. These presentations covered a number of situations, mostly about what happens if someone is harassed at a voting location. Some of them touched on what to do at protests. Important to note here is to have a plan, stay vigilant, know how to exit when you need to, don’t call police unless it is absolutely necessary, if you are going to record an incident put your phone on “do not disturb” so that the recording isn’t interrupted, if you are involved in an incident make sure those with you understand your wishes, and always focus your attention on the person being harassed to see if they want you to intervene, sometimes the best choice is to ignore the harassers or counter-protestors, water is better than milk, and most importantly remain calm. That’s the quick version. Clicking on the information below will be better if you are thinking about participating in protests following the election.

It is not likely that we will have clear results on election night and it will be important to remain calm until all of the votes are counted. For many of us, that means managing our personal anxiety in the safety of our homes, by engaging in self-care practices and prayer. I have purposefully, limited my commitments and meetings so that I can focus on prayer. I’ve written about that in Preparing for post election with prayer. I sent out notes of thanks and thinking of you a few days ago. My congregants started receiving them on Saturday and some will arrive today. My hope is that these little notes will be a small ray of hope or positive energy for the days that are coming. With the same intention to spread hope and love, not germs, my husband and I sent full sized candy bars down a decorated pipe to the children in our neighborhood on Halloween.

Tonight, Third Presbyterian Church met outside of our building today to pray with our neighbors. The senior pastor and I alternated reading prayers and holding silence. One person asked for personal prayer afterwords and a few expressed worry about safely voting, or about what the results might mean for their neighbors. Despite the worry, there was great comfort in being together.

League of Women Voters additional resources:

Active Bystander Resources 

American Friends Service Committee’s Prepare and breath: Bystander intervention and de-escalation training additional resources:


Dear Karie,  Thank you so much for joining the Prepare and breathe: Bystander intervention and de-escalation training! We’re inspired by your thoughtful participation and reflection. We hope you will use these tips and tools and feel more prepared to respond to difficult situations that may arise.  View and share the video recording of our webinar. You can also access our training slideshow hereFollow up  Get more resources on bystander intervention.  Read and sign our pledge to protect democracy in this election.  Find and share more election protection resources. • Get tips on showing up for Black Lives Matter protests as white folks.  • Take our immersive self-study e-course, Radical Acting in Faith for White People.
Christian Associates of Southwest Pennsylvania and JCCPGH Center for Loving Kindness have been gathering multi faith groups to talk. Guided by Nathan Stock of the Carter Center, a small group of interfaith and bipartisan leaders have crafted a series of messages to be shared. We’re hoping that you’ll hear these messages from some prominent Pittsburghers in the next few days. We’re also hoping you will share them as well: as important leaders in our communities, our voices have the power to help keep the peace. 

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