Lefty DOs and DON'Ts
Don't have a hippy drum circle:
There are few things more annoying and irrelevant than a bunch of dreadlocked Boulderites banging on drums while dancing around with erect nipples under their hemp shirts.
Don't have a gothic pagan chorus on the stage talking about mermaids:
This actually happened at the last November 3rd movement rally. It has nothing to do with the overall point of the protest. Rather it is just an opportunity for superficial hipsters to whine about "mother earth". They then leave to go get coffee and don't stay for the rally.
Don't talk about gay rights or other issues that have little to do with the Iraqi invasion:
Believe it our not, all of the protesters do not see eye to eye. Although Palestine and gay rights are very important issues (and yes, I do realize that there are parallels between imperialism with Palestine and Iraq) that does not mean we should have speakers that talk for 30 minutes on the subjects. It is sloppy and off message to the united coalition of organizations and individuals against the Iraq war to talk about different issues that they may not agree with. Stay with a poignant message and prosper.
Don't use the slogan "No Blood For Oil!":
Face it. The bromide is tired, used. Be creative.
Don't set up a fucking T-shirt stand selling Anti-Bush propaganda made in Hanes sweatshop factories:
Everytime I go to a rally I see some baby boomer liberal asshole shelling his shallow and petty white T-Shirt crap. Don't do it. To ad insult to injury, the shirts are usually from some sweatshop company like Hanes. When you try and talk to the vendor he gets all defensive and babbles something about an "honest" living. Yeah, right. For that matter, let's keep all aspects of consumerism out of the rally. Protests are about community empowerment and action, not buying stuff. Save it for conferences and book signings.
Don't march to the Halliburton building:
Guess what, most of the workers aren't there on Saturday. We've done it two times with little to show for it, enough is enough.
Don't talk for an hour and a half, leaving supporters standing:
Last time different speakers talked for a little over and hour and a half. The primary reason we showed up was not to hear people speak about things we are already aware of or don't care about. We wanted to march! By the time the speeches were over, a good chunk of the crowd had left, and no media was around.
Don't wear black bandanas or gas masks:
Want the police to target you? Wear a black bandana over your face. Wear a gas mask. I know, I know, it's the cool anarcho thing to do, but it's also very foolish. If you feel you might need them later (for whatever reasons...), put them in your bag where you'll have easy access to them.
If these aren't funny enough, here's what you should be doing.
Do'sWhat Independent, volunteer monitors? How can they be nonpartisan if they're on the lookout for "VIOLATIONS OF HIPPY RIGHTS"?
Do have police monitors in the march:
Independent volunteer monitors, who are not part of the protest, can serve as valuable witnesses and recognize rights violations if you are arrested. They also carry tape recorders.
What a bunch of whiny freeloaders!
Do invite organizations with free food to attend:
There are few things better than being a haggard chain-smoking organizer, and having a free Food Not Bombs veggie burrito at the rally to fuel you up. Free food makes happy protesters.
So, its OK to die for a hippy cause, but not for your country?
Do be serious:
Protesting is not a hobby. It's not about being a humanitarian and it's not about feeling good about your self. Be prepared to die for your cause. Ok, so that's a little extreme. But be prepared to take a stand. Arrests are not unlikely in any protest. If you bring kids or animals, stay on the sidewalk.
How about douse yourself in gasoline and strike a match?
Do be creative:
I don't know about you, but I'm sick of doing the same thing over and over again with little to show for it but a frustrated mind. We have to protest in a way that's intriguing, news making. Block the street, do guerilla theater, dose your self in gasoline and go out for ice cream. Whatever. Just don't do the same thing when it doesn't work. Think.
Do have citizen journalists on site:
Face it, although mainstream media attention is nice, they do not share our interests unless it makes them money. This is why citizen journalists and bloggers need to be at the protest. They can report the story from a different point of view; a view lost to the sick and insipid career journalists. A better, more democratic point of view. Stories can be published on IndyMedia or a blog, and if it's popular enough it can be seen by thousands, if not millions.
I HATE BLOGGER!!! It won't let me put a little picture in here, says the post is empty, or simply gives a blank screen. What do I want for nothing? well, OK.