How to Disguise Yourself As a NATO Protestor

The NATO summit starts this weekend.  Buildings in the area have been distributing memos to their residents and employees at a dizzying pace.  I just received two letters from my residence – 2 e-mailed letters and just to make sure that I was receiving them, 2 printed copies slipped underneath my door.  I’ve also received several e-mails at work and a handy-dandy card titled “Chicago Incident Response Procedures 2012” that I am supposed to keep on my person at all times.

(This card includes a map that points out our office assembly point in the event of an evacuation.  I thought the problem was going to be protestors on the street.  No one told me that the protestors also had wings that they could use to terrorize us from above.  And if we are being attacked from above and below, how are we supposed to make our way in an orderly fashion to an assembly point?  Perhaps I should go learn how to drive a tank (tank lessons offered here) and then I can be the designated driver to shuttle people to safety.  But my office has to provide the tank.  After all, if it wasn’t for some misplaced sense of duty, I would have taken the week off and gone to Hawaii.)

Anyway, the protests have begun and the first arrests have taken place.  This protest happened earlier this week outside of Obama’s campaign headquarters.  It lasted 2 hours and ended with several arrests.  But this particular protest has me concerned.  The various memos have all included the theme of dressing down to match the protesters but they didn’t say anything about dressing Amish.  And I think it’s too late for me to grow a decent beard.

José M. Osorio, Chicago Tribune, May. 14, 2012

But I might be able to protect my identity in other ways.

For starters, no more carrying of leather hand bags.  The best bag alternative might be a bag made of hemp.  And if it has to have a logo, perhaps a Trader Joe’s logo would be sufficient.  That way, you can strike up a conversation to let them know where the closest Trader Joe’s is located and you can make your escape whilst they are distracted.

And wear Jeans.  Not expensive jeans that never fit my curves anyway.  But regular jeans.  Preferably with holes.  The more holes the better.  Or overalls.  If you have overalls, that would be best.  Then you can make a statement with the shoulder straps.  One strap down to say I am feeling lazy.  Straps crossed in the front to say do not approach.  Both straps down to say I can defy gravity and keep my pants up by sheer force of will and you shall not mess with me.

Perfect for any event

The choice of shirt is important as well.  I was voting for tie-dye.  In fact, I suggested that our office host a tie-dye competition and the best shirt would win the opportunity to represent the face of our company and have the opportunity to go outside and get us all lunch.

If tie-dye is not available, then perhaps one of these slogan t-shirts:

Roadkill T-Shirts

Funny and safe!  The large groups of people could be referring to congress or protesters!  Get your point across without getting your point across!


Roadkill T-shirts

Alright, this might not be the safest t-shirt.  But it’s still funny.

It’s also critical to accessorize appropriately.  And the most important accessory is a good sign.  If you cannot get a good sign yourself then stand close to someone who has a decent sign.

It would also be useful to carry camouflage that would help you blend in with surrounding buildings.  But I fear that might take to long to put on and you would already be in trouble.

35-year-old Liu Bolin, from Shandong, China, manages to camouflage himself in any surroundings.

The final accessory is a good mask.


This has the benefit of disguising your features from video cameras as well as your identity.

Probably nothing will happen this weekend, but it’s better safe than sorry.

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