Organizing a successful protest can be quite tedious. There are many considerations, too many probabilities and logistics is often a nightmare- although this depends on the intended size of the protest.
We must note that a protest is only as successful as its organization, however, which makes preparation key. Characteristically, all protests have a different theme or form but the basics are the same. People are involved, a venue is picked and the protest is staged.
Below, we shall quickly work through an outline that will help you organize a successful protest or picketing in the future.
- Form Your Base/Team.
Before anything can actually happen, a team is required to make it happen. It is important that you chose your team carefully as they will serve to lead the others and provided momentum when needed. You will need to work with people who share your enthusiasm about the cause for your protest, and who are skilled in crowd control and handling the logistics of time and venue. Assign tasks. No one person can do it on their own. Create a master list of everything you need to get done for your event. Delegate tasks from that list to your fellow organizers and let them own the task.
- Set the Agenda.
As an organizer, you will need to take the time to gather and calmly plan the message, strategy, and actions to be taken. Be clear on the desired outcome. Everything that happens next depends on this crucial step. This should be a no-brainer, but when everyone’s hot under the collar and not thinking clearly, things may simply happen for the sake of happening. It is important you and your team drum in the real purpose of your protest with the wider public who would be coming out to join the protest.
Also, you may chose to create a WhatsApp Group or a platform on Facebook or Twitter that allows you, your team and members of the public exchange information unrestrained by time and space. It will be a platform for perfecting plans for the protest.
This is why you must employ social media as a tool to engineer the right thought to lead to the right action on the day of the protest.
- Organizing the Protest Match
People may not be aware of your cause or be moved to do anything about it. Spread the word through mass emails, distribute flyers, get a buzz going on social media, and never underestimate the power of word of mouth. When people are passionate about something, they talk about it and push others to join. Then there’s the law. Find out what is required to legally hold a demonstration in your area and get the necessary permission.
You must set your time and venue well ahead of D-Day. If buses are to be used to convey some of your protesters, best they be marked for easy identification.
Set a takeoff time once you’ve arrived at your venue. Proceed as one unit.
Also, be creative with your message. Your aim is to grab attention-a dull poster equals a poor outing. Employ rhetoric, sarcasm and satire.
Please remember to ensure there are outliners who march in front of, besides and behind the protesters to keep them in file and rank. Unity of march is as important as unity of purpose. Protesters must be prevented from unnecessarily straying especially when you arrive at your target point for your protest.
- GET SECURITY.
Always keep the Police or other relevant security outfits informed of your planned protest. Write them a letter stating the purpose of your protest, include details such as time, place and an estimate of expected crowd.
You must also ask for Police protection. This keeps orders civil all through the match and also ensures that no harm is visited on your fellow protesters.
- KEEP THE HEAT ON.
A protest doesn’t end in a day. It doesn’t end in the streets either. Immediately after a successful match, go online, gain the attention of the world or your audience by publishing and pushing pictures, videos and writings covering the protest and the rationale behind it.
Gain the trust of media influencers and through them, keep the heat on till your interests or concerns are addressed.
A key feature is to stay true to the purpose of your protest never straying from the ideals of civility.