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Fellow white people from Protestant-informed backgrounds! I want to share a protest thought.

WASP culture disciplines and regulates itself through respectability and propriety.

When police interact with us, they often try to leverage this obsession with respectability.
I've witnessed in a lot of protest situations that police will start their crowd control efforts by leveraging respectability politics to get white people to fall in line. Often it starts with things like, "Can you please step back onto the sidewalk?"
And people (especially white people from WASP cultural backgrounds) often do so without thinking, because it's a police officer giving them instructions.

But "please" is doing a fucking ton of work in those interactions, and it's important to take a moment to second-guess it.
Police often leverage respectability to move high-privilege individuals out of a contested space with zero friction, and then are more easily able to justify increased hostility to whoever is left within that space -- whoever wasn't invited to the WASP respectability dance.
WASP respectability culture involves an elaborate set of deference cues, and is easily manipulated by those who hold power. Often we respond to implicit or round-about requests for acquiescence to power without even realizing it.
But the good news is that, as white people, we also hold enough status and privilege that we can refuse to participate in respectability protocols without much fear of retaliation.

All it takes is a willingness to look immature, embarrassing, petulant, clueless and insufferable.
Here are a couple notes:

A well-organized march or protest will usually have marshals/organizers who are visible. If a cop gives you an instruction, look for one and make eye contact. Take your cues from the marshals instead.

You can ask a cop "Am I legally required to do so?"
Protests, marches, and actions often have guidelines for engagement. For example, this is part of the announcement/skill-share I opened the 2017 Vancouver Trans March with.

Find out yr guidelines. If police ask for something that contradicts them, look to organizers for clarity.
Police will try to take advantage of your respectability impulses.

You can ignore the impulses and just not comply. You can leverage those same impulses yourself, to force concessions. You can act clueless and simply not follow the command. There are options!
Okay, I want to end with a quick story. I was at a march for housing justice that ended with a demo in front of a condo development. Those gathered were piled onto the street, blocking three out of four lanes of traffic. Rush hour was rapidly approaching.
I was wearing a nice blouse and pearls, with my baby in a stroller. (If you don't anticipate violence or state repression, I highly recommend this protest attire to fellow white women, it does work.)

Police started asking people to please push closer, to free up a traffic lane.
Everyone else in that third lane instinctively moved forward, getting out of the way. I asked "Am I legally required to do so?" The cop was baffled. He explained that I was causing a traffic jam. I smiled politely, nodded, and explained that it was my goal to do exactly that.
They cop was perturbed and explained that people were trying to get home from work, to go pick up their kids from daycare, maybe even to get to the hospital. I gave a sympathetic tsk, but again asked "Am I legally required to move from this spot?" He walked off in frustration.
A stroller is great because you can pop the brakes on and independently occupy an entire lane of traffic, and literally nobody is going to try to do something stupid like inch their car forward to get you out of the way, because you are a sweet, loving mother with a literal baby.
One of the primary objectives of peaceful street protest is to demonstrate that there is sufficient people power behind an issue that, if those in power aren't willing to cede decision-making ground, there could be hell to pay.

Respectability protocol tries to defang the threat.
If you're white or waspy, you have been trained to give in to respectability protocols. Police leverage this to pacify you. But you have the ability to make creative choices!

All it takes is a willingness to look immature, embarrassing, petulant, clueless, and insufferable.
Your sense of respectability probably comes with a sense of entitlement. Deployed strategically, that entitlement can be a gift to the movement!

Pay attention to the guidelines and instructions that protest organizers put forward. Let their cues steer you, instead of the police.
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Keep Current with Avery Alder, Buried Without Ceremony

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