How to Plan a Protest
by Susan Basko, esq.
See also: High School Protest Rights
You can help fund the march by donating to this GoFundMe:
You can read more about the plans, as they develop, here:
You can read FAQ here: https://www.marchforourlives.com/faq
HOW TO PLAN A MARCH - BASIC INFO:
1. Look around and see if a march is already planned for your city, town, suburb, or school. If so, you may wish to join those already planning. Or you may wish to start your own.
2. The DATE is Saturday March 24, 2018.
3. The TOPIC is to End School Shootings.
4. The theme color is ORANGE. That is the nationwide color. That means, anything orange helps - orange hats, orange shirts, orange jackets, orange signs, etc.
5. Pick a TIME and PLACE.
6. A Two hour time slot is what is usually allowed by most cities and also is the most successful at having a peaceful, legal protest that remains on topic. The best time slot on a Saturday is usually a 2 hour time slot in the range between noon and 4 pm. Such as noon - 2:00pm or 1:00pm - 3:00pm or 2:00pm -4:00pm. Personally, I think 2:00pm to 4:00pm is best. That way, people can start arriving any time after 1:00pm and if it goes a little over 4:00pm, it is no big deal.
7. PLACE: Most protests will probably be a RALLY followed by a MARCH. If you hold the rally in a publicly-owned plaza, you should not need a permit, but you should check with your City or town to see if some other group has reserved the space for that time slot. You'll need to call whoever it is that books the space.
A REAL GOOD PLAN FOR AN EASY PROTEST IS TO HAVE A RALLY IN A PUBLICLY-OWNED PLAZA for 45 minutes, and then go for a MARCH for an hour, and then end out back at the same plaza. That way, people can easily find where they locked their bikes, or find the public transportation that they arrived on, or find where they parked their car.
If you are not getting a permit, in most places, you CANNOT DO these things:
1. Build a stage or platform, hang any banners, set up any tents, or serve food.
2. Set up a sound system (except maybe a very small one)
3. Block the streets.
If you are not getting a permit, in most places, you CAN DO these things:
1. Gather round and a speaker or announcer can stand on an existing staircase, bench, etc.
2. You can use a bullhorn or small sound system that can be carried by one person.
3. You can have signs, drums, balloons.
4. Invite people to speak.
5. Invite people to play music or drums.
6. MARCH. If your group will fit on the sidewalks, they should go on the sidewalks. If your group is large and needs to be in the street, the police are supposed to facilitate it so you can march in the street or in part of the street.
IT IS NEVER LEGAL TO DO ANY OF THESE THINGS at any PROTEST:
1. Put stickers on any surface.
2. Spray paint on anything.
3. Start anything on fire.
4. Surround any vehicle. Tip or rock any vehicle. Harass occupants of any vehicle.
5. Bring any weapons or fireworks.
6. Throw anything.
7. Break any glass.
8. Break anything.
9. Hit or harm any person in any way.
10. Threaten any person or harass any person.
8. PUBLICIZE. ONCE YOU HAVE YOUR TIME AND PLACE, then PUBLICIZE that using Facebook, Twitter, emails, word of mouth, press releases, etc.
INVITE live streamers, citizen journalists, independent media, mainstream media.
9. PLAN YOUR PROTEST.
Invite speakers. Invite Music. Get people to make signs (hold a sign-making party?)
The nationwide theme color is ORANGE.
A Good Two Hour Agenda might look like this:
1:30pm - 2:00: People arrive. Music Playing. People setting things up,
2:00 - 2:45: Rally with speakers, each with a time slot that you keep to tightly. Ideally, a featured speaker might be given 6 or 7 minutes, and others might get 4 or 5 minutes. Less is more.
2:45 - 3:45: March - and end back at rally location. When planning a route, go out and walk it in advance to see how long it takes.
3:45 - 4:00: Clean up.
1. Get people to bring bottles of water. You can place boxes of bottles of water on the ground or on a bench, so people can find it and take a bottle. Having water available will prevent people from getting dehydrated and sick.
2. Bring a whole box of garbage bags and CLEAN UP the space afterwards. Leave the space better than you found it. Get the garbage bags into a trash bin if possible, or take them home with you. If you leave trash bags on location, they will likely be ripped open and the contents scattered.
3. Ask people to please not bring flyers, since these end out all over the ground. If someone brings flyers, tell them to be sure to pick up all the flyers at the rally and along the march route. Hand them a trash bag for this purpose.
4. Plan for bathrooms. For this march, people will probably not be renting portapotties -- but if they can, that is good. Find out what bathrooms might be nearby or along the route.
5. Public Transportation, Parking, Bike Racks. Gather all this information and let people know.
6. Handicapped. Try to plan your location and route so that handicapped people will be able to participate. That means finding what public transportation is nearby and accessible, planning a route that has safe street crossings and ramps, which nearby places have a handicapped-accessible bathroom, pacing your march so handicapped people can keep up, and possibly assigning helpers to those who are handicapped, if they want a helper(s).
7. ALWAYS clean up afterwards! Leave your rally plaza and march route better and cleaner than you found it!
8. LEGAL: Have phone numbers for lawyers or legal organizations in case things happen and anyone gets arrested.
9. MEDIA. INVITE live streamers, citizen journalists, independent media, mainstream media. Make videos and post them online! Take lots of pictures! Live Tweet your march.
NOTE: IF YOU LIVE STREAM, TWEET, TAKE PICTURES, ETC., THEN YOU ARE EXPANDING YOUR MARCH PARTICIPATION TO FAR MANY MORE PEOPLE WHO WERE NOT ABLE TO BE THERE IN PERSON.
SEE THESE OTHER POSTS FOR EXTRA INFORMATION:
Planning Against Terrorism in Protests
How to Run a Protest: Basics
Quick Protest Planning: 10 Easy Steps
Questions about Protests
Hijacking a Protest: How to Prevent It