How to Protest Effectively
Make Demands, not Noise
Define Your Purpose and Specific Goals
Exactly why are you protesting?
What is it you hope to accomplish?
Write down 3-5 specific, achievable demands and a reasonable timeline in which you want them fulfilled
Obtain Required Clearance
This may include obtaining mandatory permits and fees at city hall.
Ensure security, medical relief and water will be available to support the safety of protesters.
Pre-Walk the route of your march to identify potential barriers.
Spread the Word
Succinctly summarize the purpose, location, date, time and duration of your protest. Be sure to specify a start time and end time.
Share your event details via multiple social media platforms, texts, emails, radio outlets, newspapers, etc.
Casting a wide net improves turnout
Set up a social media page specifically for your protest
Directly invite community leaders and your target audience (e.g. police chief, mayor, senator, district attorney)
Invite the Press
Get Volunteers & Donations
Volunteer Position Ideas
Protest Registration Station
Voter Registration Station
First Aid Station
Security Station (in conjunction with professional security)
Media Crew (experienced public speakers to communicate message to media cameras)
Photographers & Videographers
Document your protest well
Consider live streaming
Consider selling hats, shirts and signs with unified, specific messages and colors
All profits go to the cause
Local Food Vendors (if applicable/appropriate, paid by individuals customers)
Vehicles for Transportation
Masks (if applicable)
Brief Protesters in Advance
Pre-record a video stating your purpose, demands, rules for participation, chants and songs in advance to promote unity and enhance success
Post on designated social media platforms
Encourage protesters to prepare signs in advance
Visibly Unify Your Message
Carry signs with brief messages specifically stating your goals
"Stop Police Brutality"
"No More Choke Holds"
"Convict the Felonious Four(TM)"
Wear identical shirts or shirts of the same color
Clearly Label Leaders
Special shirts, badges and megaphones are ways to make leaders easily identifiable
Utilize a Registration Station
Collect names, addresses, emails and phone numbers of participants
Do so via your designated social media site, if possible
Review the Protest Policies with each participant
Emphasize Unity, Respect for Others, Non-violence
Consider having protesters recite a Peaceful Protest Promise
"I promise to protest peacefully with no violence, destruction or theft. I recognize that doing otherwise reduces our message and takes away from our common goals"
Raise United Voices
Powerful, appropriate, prepared chants and songs unify participants and assert your message to the world
Use chants that specifically state your demands:
"No More Choke Holds"
"Stop Killing Us."
"Hold Police Accountable."
"Let Us Breathe."
Sometimes silence is the loudest noise
For instance, the impact of 9 minutes of silence facedown on this Portland bridge is incalculable.
Sing Songs to Harmoniously Unite
Have a Plan for Outliers and Violent Detractors
Inevitably, people will show up who are not like-minded in their goals
Some will want to draw personal attention, cause a negative scene and utilize the cover of a peaceful protest for their own personal gain
Be prepared with Counter Tactics
Have Protesters Back Away from detractors with their Hands Up
Loudly chant a unified phrase to the detractors
"We Come in Peace"
"The People ...United... Will Never Be Defeated"
Include Voter Registration Stations
Nearly every reason to protest can be improved by voting leaders out of (and into) office and voting on measures for change
Do Not Miss the Vital Opportunity to Register People to Vote at Your Protest
Place Volunteer Voter Registration Assistants at the Start and End of march routes
Registration can be done from new registrants' cell phones in minutes by going to Vote.org
Post voter registration links on your protest's social media page
End on a High Note
Make sure Protesters leave feeling accomplished and inspired but not finished with the task at hand
At the end of your protest, have a culmination speech thanking people for their participation, and encouraging them to follow-up with letters and calls to the powers-that-be and social media posts to keep the movement thriving
Leave the Protest Site/Route Cleaner than you Found it
Do everything in such a manner that people will want to invite you back in the future
Follow-Up with Officials
Make contact with officials who have power to promote change immediately
Succinctly and eloquently re-state your demands, in writing, and provide your contact information
Ask for an in-person meeting to discuss the issues at hand
Keep the Community Engaged & Informed
Encourage people to further the fight by calling and writing local, state and federal officials constantly
Set-up a call, email and postal mail schedule for participants to incessantly agitate
Use your registration list and social media contacts to update the community when progress is made.
Protesting in the Pandemic
Protect yourself and others while fighting for justice
Blacks are Disproportionately Infected by and Die from COVID-19.
Many people with COVID-19 don't have symptoms, but still spread the disease.
Don't sacrifice more Black lives unnecessarily.
Be Safe. Be Smart. Be Proactive.
Stay Home if You're Sick
Fever or Respiratory Symptoms = Stay at Home
The World Health Organization also advises those with Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease and/or Respiratory Conditions to avoid crowds.
Using social media, you can still fight for justice and protect people.
Mask should form a tight seal around your nose and face.
Unless wearing an N95 mask, your mask protects others from you, not you from others.
Everyone must wear masks to keep each other safe from COVID-19.
Keep Your Mask On
Masks should be worn when within 6 feet of others.
Be disciplined. Prepare to keep your mask on for the duration of the protest.
If removing mask is required (e.g. drinking water): Sanitize hands first. Remove by touching mask ear loops. Place in paper or zip top bag with outside surfaces folded inward. Sanitize hands again. Put face mask back on as soon as possible. Remember to sanitize hands before and after touching mask.
Sanitize Hands Frequently
Keep Hand Sanitizer (60% Alcohol Content or Higher) easily accessible and use often.
Don't Touch Your Face
COVID-19 spreads easily through touching of the eyes, nose and mouth.
Don't Touch Others
Keep your hands up or clasped in front of you to avoid this human, but currently dangerous, temptation.
Don't Share Food or Drinks
Disinfect Podium & Microphone (or Megaphone) Between Speakers
Protect leaders from COVID-19 to keep the movement strong.
Have one, gloved volunteer disinfect the podium and microphone (or megaphone) with sanitizing wipes between speakers.
Place hand sanitizer on the podium (or in each speaker's pocket if no podium).
Require speakers to sanitize their hands before and after speaking.
Speakers: Keep Your Mask On While Speaking
Let's face it, at a protest, you likely won't be 6 feet away from everyone.
Cast vanity and personal comfort aside.
The example you set is far-reaching and life-saving.
Show protesters you care about social justice and their health.
Sanitize Hands Before Entering Your Vehicle
Shower Immediately Upon Returning Home
Wash clothes and reusable face coverings in hot water. Dry on hot setting.
Don't be Responsible for Increasing COVID-19 Cases and Deaths
The Black community has already suffered too many losses.
Follow CDC Guidelines to Stop the Spread of COVID-19