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

outreach is something everyone does!

outreach is something that everyone does: everyone involved and concerned about the issues is responsible for taking an active role in community outreach and education. the art & literature committee should make fliers early on which talk about the issues, the trip, and how to get information on the upcoming teach-in and fundraising events. have lots of copies at meetings, infoshops, and other locations that activists frequent. if everyone carries a small stack of fliers with them for a few weeks they'll have a way to get the word out and give people the info they need to follow up and stay involved. encourage everyone to think about going on the trip and that there will be lots of support for them if they want to go.

  • advertise the teach-in
  • advertise fundraisers
  • advertise the community-report back
  • invite people to get involved:
    • let everyone know they can join the trip
    • in the local solidarity action
    • trip support: in order to be able to go the action, activists need a lot of support from other activists at home. activists who can't go on the trip can do other really important stuff:

art & literature: this group could do a number of useful things. they could make groovy fliers to hand out which give information on how people can get involved in the trip or the local solidarity action. they could work on art that will be used at the local action and the mass action (make sure it fits in the vehicles!). they might also make fliers to hand out to passersby at the mass action (something often missing from the mass action). sometimes posters, fliers, and info sheets are posted to the action websites and you can use or modify these.

at-home media team: media work needs to be done before, during, and after the trip.

  • help activists get ready to talk to the media
  • media watch
    • collect local and national newspapers and analyze the coverage
    • videotape local, national, and international tv news coverage (or lack thereof! -- sometimes what they cover instead is pretty absurd)
    • analyze the coverage and get this news out to other local activists and to the affinity group at the action: this information can be very empowering!
  • pressure local and national media to cover the events accurately
  • clue local newsmedia in to stories of interest, such as actions, arrests, or injuries of activists from the home town
  • write letters to the editor about the actions and their significance
  • send updates on the mass action and your local action to your local independent media center (imc). to find your local imc, go to the main imc page and scroll down the left hand side
  • click for more detailed information on how to do some of this media work

community report-back: even though everyone is exhausted when they get home, a community report-back is one more responsibility. people who supported the action want to hear from the activists who went, people who've read about the events in the newspaper may have become interested in the issues, and, not least, your vibrant stories make for very good fundraising. if you don't need the money, the legal team at the action probably does. a date and location for the report back should be arranged before you go and integrated into all media materials and press releases, advertised at the teach-in, etc. it should be scheduled for at least 2 hours so that there's plenty of time for stories and questions. the group may or may not want this event to be open to the press, and that's a decision that needs to be made democratically. the report-back can be very simple or rather sophisticated. if you can get a copy of any edited indymedia videos before you leave the action, these are great to show. but you don't need anything high-tech. people are usually fascinated by the stories activists can tell about the experience. don't forget to talk about the issues as well as the actions!


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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

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links you need:

international listing of major protests.


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



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