at home during the action

in order to make your trip effective, a number of activities and tasks need to be done at home. these activities are opportunities for activists not going on the trip to have important roles. as you plan each of these activities, think about inviting folks to help out and how these different tasks could help them be involved even though they need to be at home with children, who can't get off from work, elders, people who are injured or ill... these people may have just the kind of time and resources to do important at home tasks, such as telephoning, media analysis & outreach, research, etc.

everyone involved and concerned about the issues can take an active role in community outreach before, during, and after the big action. make some 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.

there are three main activities that folks at home should be working on while other folks are traveling to the mass action:

1. support work

2. local solidarity action

3. planning the community report-back

support work

in order to be able to go the action, activists need a lot of support from other activists at home. here are some important roles for activists who can't go on the trip.

  • lending vehicles & equipment (radios, cameras, laptop computers)
  • donating money for gas
  • rounding up art supplies
  • child care
  • pet & plant care
  • bail roundup
legal support: one person needs to be willing to commit to being by the phone and providing legal support for the duration of the action days. this is a great role for someone who really wants to be involved in the action but needs to stay home. it's also a great way to help lovers/partners who are staying home to feel very involved.

jail solidarity: activists at home should be ready to make calls to jails, mayors, and police departments to complain about arrests and police brutality and to demand release of all protesters without charges. usually, these phone numbers are on the imc site set up for the mass action.

at-home media team: media work needs to be done before, during, and after the trip. see the media section. but it's important to keep in mind the special roles for folks at home during the action. that at-home legal team has several key roles:

  • 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

advertising the community report-back: the community report-back should be planned and advertised while the travelers are still out of town! that means folks at home need to get a venue and start advertising right away.

local solidarity action

one of the forms that growing international solidarity takes is the simultaneous, coordinated manifestation of our resistance. it's great to do a local action simultaneous with the faraway day of action. try using the action planning sheet.