Anticipated First Amendment Activities

March 21, 2023

On Saturday, March 18, 2023 former President Donald Trump announced via social media that he anticipates his arrest and indictment this week on charges related to the Manhattan District Attorney’s investigation. Since the announcement, calls for violence on social media have spiked and law enforcement agencies have noted the possibility of unrest across the United States. While there are currently no known protests or acts of violence planned for the District, we encourage those living in D.C. to be prepared for potential disruptions. While we don’t anticipate access restrictions around Foggy Bottom or in the rest of the District, it is possible and it is smart to prepare.

We offer a few preparedness tips and safety precautions:

  • Be aware of the behavior of those around you and report suspicious or threatening behavior immediately to GWPD at (202) 994-6111 or the Metropolitan Police Department through 911.
  • Avoid crowds and do not engage with individuals seeking a confrontation.
  • If there is a disturbance, seek shelter indoors until normal conditions return. Observe directions from law enforcement personnel.

 On campus:

  • Make sure doors close and lock behind you as you arrive and depart.
  • Do not allow strangers into GW buildings.
  • Be aware of the behavior of those around you and report suspicious behavior. 
  • Carry identification and your GWorld card at all times when on (or off) campus.
  • GW Police and EMERG will be on campus and available for assistance.

If large crowds start to gather and you choose to exercise your First Amendment rights, we urge you to follow these tips: 

  • Be aware of the behavior of those around you and report suspicious behavior. 
  • Monitor traffic reports, weather reports, and emergency notifications.
  • Dress for the weather and your comfort and consider wearing layers of clothing.
  • Let someone who is not going with your group know your plan.  
  • Stay with your group. Have a predetermined plan on where to meet if you get separated.
  • Stay hydrated and bring snacks/food with you as many businesses may close. 
  • Have a secondary communication plan in case cell phone signals are limited. 
  • View the Student Associate’s DC Protest Guide and the Student Rights & Responsibilities Office Guide to Protest Activities

GW’s Office of Emergency Management is collaborating with local and regional public safety organizations, continues to monitor activity in the District, and will send email and/or text alerts to the entire GW community, if necessary. The latest safety and security information will be posted here on Campus Advisories. 

Additional safety and security resources are at or download the GW Guardian app for resources at your fingertips. Additional emergency management information from the District of Columbia is also available online

All GW community members (students, faculty and staff) are automatically signed up to receive GW emergency email alerts. You can manage your GW Alert account to also receive GW text alerts to your mobile device. In addition to adding your own mobile number, you can add up to three email addresses and phone numbers so that friends or relatives may also receive GW emergency alerts. Visit GW Alert FAQs for instructions on how to manage your account. In addition, for those who use mobile apps, the GW Guardian App will push GW emergency alerts directly to the app, as well as other safety functions.