Posts Tagged ‘occupy wall st’

How To Organize A Protest

Photo by Friends of The Earth International

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post submitted to us by Alyssa Vincent. As Occupy Together is rebuilding to help people plug into the movement and give them the tools and resources they need to become engaged, we thought this would be a great guest feature to highlight.

The Occupy Wall Street movement is back in force now that warmer weather is here. The movement’s critics say Occupy demonstrations are still unorganized, begging the question, “How do you arrange a protest?”

I asked Mike Mann, founder and author of Crime.org, how he coordinates protests for his organization. He had this valuable advice:

Step 1: Set a Goal and Identify Your Audience
It’s important to identify what you want to accomplish with your protest. Are you trying to raise awareness? Are you trying to change a policy or law?  Once you identify the goal, you then must identify your audience. If you’re trying to raise awareness, then the general public may be your target audience. However, if you’re trying to change a policy or law, your target audience will be much different.

Step 2:  Determine the Forum and Tone of your Protest
It’s important to determine a medium for your protest, and how the demonstration will proceed. Maybe the Internet would be the best forum for your demonstration. It worked well for those protesting the SOPA legislation. Perhaps your protest is better suited in a park or on a street corner. It depends on your goal.
Also determine the tone of your protest. Are you going to have a silent sit-in, or will your protest be loud and in your face? The tone will vary depending on what you are protesting and your goal.

Step 3: Set the Location, Date and Time of the Protest
Sometimes the location for your protest will be obvious, other times it won’t. If you are protesting a law, a government building where the law is being drafted would be an ideal location. But if you are protesting a business with many locations, pick the busiest spot. Check with city officials if you are expecting a large crowd.

The date and time will largely depend on your goal. If you are trying to raise awareness among the general public, then the weekend when people are out and about would be the best time. If you are targeting business executives, weekdays would perhaps be most beneficial.

Step 4: Prepare Content for the Protest
Once you have the location, date and time nailed down, it’s time to start creating content for the demonstration. Make picket signs and pamphlets to let people know what you are protesting. If your protest is online, create images and videos with embed codes so they can be easily shared. Finally, refer people to a website before, during and after the event, and put the Web address on all protest materials.

Step 5: Promote the Protest
Depending on your budget, there are many ways to promote a demonstration. From billboards to passing out fliers, there is something for everyone. Some low-cost things you can do to promote your protest include writing a press release, contacting the local media, utilizing social media and asking like-minded groups to use their resources to help spread the word.

Step 6: Stay Positive
Don’t get discouraged if you’re the only one who shows up — ride out the protest solo. You may have hecklers, but it’s important not to get caught up in arguing, hate or negativity. Other people observe your behavior, and you want to be respectful to everyone. The biggest mistake you could make is getting discouraged and feeling like what you’re doing isn’t making a difference. Stick with it. You might not change anyone’s mind during the protest, but understand you’re planting a seed that could grow.

Whether you’re planning a small local protest, or something more large scale, these basic steps will get you started. Don’t let a lack of knowledge stand in the way of voicing your opinion, it’s your First Amendment right to protest, don’t be afraid to exercise it.

Direct Action Highlight: Summer Disobedience School

I pledge disobedience
to the power of Wall Street
and the government of the 1 %
one No,
many Yeses
Another World is Possible
With Liberty and Justice for all!

Summer Disobedience School kicked off in NYC on May 26 and classes will be in session until Graduation Day—also known as Black Monday—September 17, the anniversary of the Liberty Square occupation.

Summer Disobedience School (SDS) is part training, part team building, and part skill share. It’s aim: to empower individuals to spearhead successful actions. Not to mention weekly infiltrations, interruptions, slowdowns, and blockades to remind to Wall Street we’re still hot at their heels.

From Summer Disobedience School:

A key priority in the OWSDS curriculum is the empowerment of new people to step up in planning and executing actions; to this end, OWSDS will involve a mentoring system in which those with more experience can “buddy up” with less experienced individuals to lend moral support and technical guidance. This “training of trainers” process can in turn be replicated and innovated by increasing numbers of people across time and space. Students will be encouraged to develop personal escalation calendars to track their own progress over the course of Summer School in advance of Graduation Day: September 17th, the one-year anniversary of OWS.

Think your town could use some disobedience lessons? OWS Direct Action is holding a Summer Disobedience School info session and Q&A on InterOccupy for anyone who is interested in learning more about SDS or wanting to organize SDS in their area.

Here’s the info:

Summer Disobedience School Info Session/Q&A
June 20, 2012 @ 5:30ET/2:30PT
Register via maestro

The call will take place directly before the Black Monday InterOccupy call so stay on the line if you’d like to learn about the national convergence of occupations in New York city on Black Monday.

For more info, download the OWS Direct Action Summer Disobedience School Workbook!

National Day of Action to Occupy Our Homes

Banks took such high risks that they placed our entire economy in serious jeopardy. In return, they received trillions of dollars from the Fed and billions of dollars from hard working tax payers to get back on their feet. Homeowners take risks when buying homes; however, when they lose their jobs or are unable to afford their medical attention they don’t get bailouts, they lose everything.

With our current environment of corporate irresponsibility and greed, political impotence and corruption, all it takes is for you to lose your job or get dropped from your health insurance to lose it all. Just because it hasn’t happened to you, your loved ones or your neighbors yet, doesn’t mean the threat isn’t real.

This Tuesday, thousands will be standing up for their neighbors in a struggle against a system that places financial gain above the human need of shelter. Banks would rather let houses deteriorate than renegotiate loans with those who make them homes and build our communities.

Occupy Minnesota had taken this issue head-on shortly after their formation when a fellow Occupier called out for help in keeping her home.

This Tuesday, Occupy Minnesota will organize in neighborhoods to defend families facing foreclosures in the communities most affected by the financial crisis. They’ll expand their occupation to a second foreclosed home in South Minneapolis.

 

NATIONAL HAPPENINGS

Occupy Our Homes is launching off with the National Day of Action to Occupy Our Homes
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