Maintaining the PeaceEdit

  • DON'T BE VIOLENT OR OVERLY AGGRESSIVE. Unless the riot police roll in, in which I recommend getting the hell out of there, any hint of violence done by protesters is an excuse for the police to shut the protest down and arrest everyone. This includes something as inoffensive as shoving someone or throwing a cigarette at someone's shoes. Be peaceful, be firm, and don't try and start a fight. If you provoke a cop enough to start a fight, it doesn't matter if he hits you first; you're still going to jail for assaulting an officer.
  • Don't have any drugs on your person or in your body. Obviously caffeine and cigarettes are not that big of a deal, but if you are arrested drugs will be a major impediment to being released or not being charged. This falls under the "don't make this easy for the cops" category; if you're drunk or high or carrying drugs, you can be labeled disorderly or under the influence or many other things to excuse hauling your ass off to jail. Go sober; you may need your wits with you.
  • Don't break any laws which the protest hasn't planned on breaking. This includes very insignificant things like jaywalking, crossing against a light, littering, trespassing, or anything at all that could be interpreted as break a law. Some protests are based on breaking the law in some manner, this is called [WWW]Civil Disobedience. This type of protest can be very effective, but you should limit the number of laws you are breaking before hand. This will reduce as sentence you and the other protesters receive if arrested, and prevent the appearance of anarchy.

Remember, once someone in a protest breaks the law, the police will try and end the protest there and then.

Smile at cops, film them, but avoid talking to them — it is best to stay as anonymous as possible. Many modern police departments compile dossiers of information on people they identify, using practices created to monitor and control young minority gang members, but likely to be used against protesters as well.

Know your rights when encountering police see: ACLU Guides

Hand SignalsEdit

I agree with the consensus
Hands in the air, fingers wiggling
I disagree with where the consensus is heading
Arms crossed like an "X"
Like salt, best used in moderation
Not feeling the consensus, but not a block
Hands down, fingers wiggling
Already been said/Get to the point
Hands rotating over and under each other like a wheel
Speak Up
Finger pointing towards the sky moving up and down or cupped hands to ears
Violating rules of assembly / Off Topic
Fingers formed into triangle over head
Measuring how group feels about consensus (Taking temperature)
How high hands are raised

It is advisable to remind participants of these signs at the beginning of each Assembly. It is also advisable to inform participants that is more useful to display disagreement once the person speaking has finished in order not to condition their intervention, whenever possible.

People's MicEdit

A People's Mic is used when amplified sound is not feasible and there are too many people to easily hear the speaker. The speaker says just a few words at a time, then pauses as the people who can hear what she said loudly repeat the phrase so people further from the speaker know what was said. For very large crowds, multiple echos might be necessary.

Effective use of the People's Mic requires speakers be concise and avoid the temptation to say phrases of more than a few words at a time.

A "Mic Check" is how a speaker gets attention to the People's Mic and ensures everyone can hear: Everyone repeats the speaker's "Mic Check" until the speaker can be heard through the whole crowd.

External LinksEdit

ACLU Guides

General Assembly

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