mass action handbook
getting your community on the road and into the street

After-action Debriefing

One of the most frequently ignored but most important parts of planning an action is organizing a debrief for after the action. Debriefing allows you to analyze the process of planning and how the action went and come up with constructive feed back for next time. Debriefing also helps build stronger communities that are able to work through conflicts and come out stronger, closer, and more dynamic.

Doing a debrief is relatively simple and can be done in many different ways. Two things to consider are the goal and what the structure will be. You can decide as a group if this is a time to share post action feelings, discuss media or police tactics, or get a better understanding of your group's process. In debriefs I chose to emphasize the importance of talking about what my affinity group did, how it went, and how we learned to work better together. In terms of the structure, both a free flowing conversation and a more organized discussion can be beneficial. Basic things to cover for pre-action planning and group interaction during the action are what did we like, what did we dislike, and what can we do better?

When and where are important to having a good debrief. Having it in a safe space for everyone in the group will bring out the best conversation. For timing, you want to find the right balance between allowing enough time to pass for people to think about and react to the action but not too much so that thoughts have drifted from the front of your mind. Very specific issues about individual actions or personal/ controversial things come up so having a group vibes watcher can be helpful.


oops! something is missing. let us know!!!!

[an error occurred while processing this directive] table of contents

Table of Contents

  1. introduction/home page
  2. get ready! what you need to know to make your participation effective
  3. becoming an affinity group & living the world you want to see
  4. putting on a teach-in
  5. outreach is something that everyone does!
  6. trip logistics
  7. legal
  8. media
  9. at home, while the mass action is happening
  10. when you get to protest-town
  11. back home, after the action

oops! something is missing.
let us know

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]

links you need:

international listing of major protests.


Video Activist Network,
Big Noise Films, Whispered Media, Cascadia Media, indymedia videos



[an error occurred while processing this directive]