Plan an Action
PLAN AN ACTION
So you're interested in helping us out on one of our international days of action? Here's a step-by-step guide. Also, reach out to us if you are interested in being added to the organizers DxE-Info mailing list.
DETERMINE BASIC DETAILS. Date and time are most important. Location is also important but can sometimes wait until later. It's often helpful to scout the location beforehand, particularly if you plan to do something creative!
SET UP THE EVENT PAGE. Use facebook and/or other social media. (On facebook, go to “More” then click “Events.” Click “Create Event.”) Make sure you include all information, including date, time, and location. Don't delay on this, as the event page is a space that will allow potential participants to plan their calendars, and ask questions in the weeks prior to the event.
ADD CONTENT. Copy and paste details from main event page to your new event page. Revise details to make locally appropriate. Read through the first Pinned Post on the Main Event Page for the latest updates.
PROMOTE. Ask us to add your event to our main page. Contact local groups and ask them to promote. Poster or flier in places where animal advocates gather.
PREPARE DEMONSTRATION MATERIALS. Material designs are available for you to print out from our site here, and are also on the Pinned Post of the Facebook "Main Event Page" for the month's action. In some cases, we may even be able to send you materials.
CONTACT THE PRESS. We send out “template” press advisories and press releases for each day of action to the DxE-Info mailing list. All you have to do is fill out the details. We also can help you compile a preliminary press contacts list, of outlets that you can contact. General press tips here.
IDENTIFY SPEAKERS AND DESIGNATE ROLES. Prepare and review speakouts before the action and designate people to leaflet.
FIND CAMERA PEOPLE AND VIDEOGRAPHERS. Getting media from events is extremely important to sustaining campaigns and building momentum. Make sure you get plenty of pictures and video, and share them on the web. See Camera Tips below!
REHEARSE ACTION. Practice and rehearse the action plan several times at a meeting location (park, coffee shop,. Before proceeding, do a quick nonviolence training.
EXECUTE. The day has arrived. Get out there, and be confident, direct, and honest. And remember, even if you mess up, you’ll learn something important in the process.
POST-EVENT. Debrief action and announce upcoming events. Post photos to social media to Facebook directly after the action. Send video footage to editors (or to DxE in the Bay Area, where we have many video editors). And promote for the next day of action!
Some tips for cameras:
Try out the camera prior to the action. Make sure it works!
Hold cameras in horizontal orientation.
Hold camera very steady.
Focus on faces. Don’t get back of heads.
Don’t talk as camera person.
Get to where you need to go, and take the right shot. Don't be bashful!
Try to have all cameras of at least iPhone quality.
Primary camera NEEDS to get good shots of the entire demonstration -- but also get some close-ups of activists' faces!
Advice for activists on creating good visuals:
Look forward. Don’t be too busy.
Stay on task.
Hold your signs steady.
Deliver your lines.
Speak with ONE voice. Don’t get distracted into separate arguments.
If something crazy happens, get your camera out.
The cameraperson is preferably in the position of an observer rather than a participant.
And if you are filming someone on a megaphone, stay at least 5 feet away to avoid feedback noise.
Want to plan an action of your own, separate from the campaign? Looking to build a local animal rights group? Here are some tips.
1. INITIAL PREPARATIONS.
From DxE's rehearsal for the Earthlings March.
- Find a team. It’s always easier, and more fun, to work with others.
- Tell a story. Use scripts and models from other actions that you liked.
- Reach out for help. Many groups, including DxE, will offer assistance, posters, leaflets, or other guidance.
2. SCOUT, AND PICK, A TARGET.
- Scout the space. Do you have the space you need to perform the action?
- Scout the location. Can activists reach the location easily?
3. DRUM UP INTEREST.
- Use social media.
- Ask other groups to publicize your event.
- Focus on hooking social networks, and not just individuals. For example, go to a show with a sympathetic audience, and ask all of them to come.
- Create investment among activists. People are more motivated on campaigns they have ownership over.
- Be prepared for hostile responses, from the police or the target.
- Practice beforehand.
- ALWAYS have cameras ready; take lots of video and photos.
- Don’t be afraid to fail; learn from mistakes.