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How to Protest Effectively

Make Demands, not Noise

Protest Effectively: Causes

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

    • Set-Up Crew​

    • Drivers

    • Protest Registration Station

    • Voter Registration Station

    • First Aid Station

    • Security Station (in conjunction with professional security)

    • Water Distributors

    • Media Crew (experienced public speakers to communicate message to media cameras)

    • Photographers & Videographers

      • Document your protest well​

      • Consider live streaming 

    • Merchandise Station

      • 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)

    • Break-Down Crew

    • Clean-Up Crew

  • Donation Ideas​

    • Money​

    • Bottled Water

    • Coolers

    • Granola Bars

    • Vehicles for Transportation

    • Trash Bags

    • Gloves

    • Hand Sanitizer

    • Masks (if applicable)

    • Signs

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

    • Examples:

      • "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

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

      • Examples:

        • "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​

  • 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

Protest Effectively: Take Action

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.

These helpful videos provide mask safety tips. (Watch at 1.5x speed to save time)

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

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