protesting tips


in this section:
tips 4 peaceful protesting
tips 4 calming things down on a blockade
protest ideas emailed in by you



1. Do not touch a police officer. This could result in a long prison term.

2. LISTENING: What is it the disruptive person is trying to say? Sometimes just having someone listen to their complaints is enough to calm them down.

3. TALKING DOWN: Remind disrupter(s) they are outside the action guidelines; explain how they may be en-dangering others; explain that they might be arrested and what the sentences are if convicted; remind them their acts are detracting from the message. Stress how disruptive and violent actions could turn into civil disruptions throughout the city.

4. SURROUND AND TALK: Four or more people surround the disrupter to stop the behavior and talk about it. - However, if they wish to leave the circle, back off.

5. BLOCKADE AND TALK: Three or more people use their bodies as a blockade to protect a person or property being attacked and talk about it with the attacker(s).




When confronted directly - one on one.

1. Your objectives must be reasonable. You must believe you are fair and you must be able to communicate this to your opponent.

2. Maintain as much eye contact as possible.

3. Make no abrupt gestures. Move slowly. When practical, tell your opponent what you are going to do before you do it. Don't say anything threatening, critical, or hostile.

4. Don't be afraid of stating the obvious; say simply, "You're shouting at me," or 'You're hurting my arm.

5. Someone in the process of committing an act of violence has strong expectations as to how his/her victim will behave. If you manage to behave differently - in a nonthreatening manner you can interrupt the flow of events that would have culminated in an act of violence. You must create a scenario new to your opponent.

6. Seek to befriend your opponent's better nature; even the most brutal and brutalized among us have some spark of decency which the nonviolent defender can reach.

7. Don't shut down in response to physical violence; you have to play it by ear. The best rule is to resist as firmly as you can without escalating the anger or the violence. Try varying approaches and keep trying to alter your opponent's picture of the situation.

8. Get your opponent talking and listen to what they have to say. Encourage them to talk about what they believe in, wishe for, or fears. Don't argue, but at the same time don't give the impression you agree with assertions that are cruel or immoral. The listening is more important than what you say - keep the talk going and keep it calm.

- Adapted from an article by Markley Morris



The SOA Watch Handbook for Non-Violent Action and Civil Disobedience Training

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