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Protesting: A how to guide.

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posted on Oct, 4 2009 @ 11:09 PM
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The first amendment of the United States says simply...


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
(1)

For this lesson we are going to concentrate on this part here...

"or the right of the people PEACEABLY to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

What this does not say in whole or in part is that we have the right to form a mob in order to go around and smash windows, burn cars, set alight dumpsters, and overturn things in the streets.

This was the fundamental problem with the G-20 Protests. Not the only problem that caused police and protesters to clash, but a fundamental one.

Now lets go to lesson 1 in this how to guide to protesting.

Lesson 1: Time and Place



As with everything in life, it's location, location, location. Protesting is an art form. To do it properly you must know where and when to protest. A protest in the proper place is a great boon to promoting freedom of speech. Picking the wrong time and place may get your group a nasty nose full of tear gas, your ears blown out by a sonic cannon or severe injury possibly death by pissed off cops who were just begging for someone to give them an excuse.

So location is important. If your permit (we will get to those latter) states that your protest is going to be in X location between street A and Avenue B, this is where you should protest, this is the proper location. Please do not confuse a permit to protest with a license to start chucking rocks at the Boston Market across town. It does not work that way. (You have to get your rock throwing permit from the building department and not parks and recreation.)

So being in the area that is designated for your protest is important for three reasons.

1) It puts everyone on the same page as to where the action is going to be.

2) It makes the cops less likely to bother anyone.

3) It's less confusing for news crews.

Now that we have location down and why not to go outside of the permitted protest area. let's move onto the all important reason for protesting.

Lesson 2: Agenda



There is an important reason we protest things. We are pissed off at something specific.

At the G-20 protests part of the problem is that there were in fact numerous protests for all sorts of reasons going on all at the same time. This is a nightmare to coordinate, it also makes your voices heard less in the mixed message.

Get a topic, one reason to be unified against. Now you can vary your message within that large group, but being a part of the large group is the key to an effective and bloodless protest.

Take the TEA party protests as an example of protesting done the right way. Notice that there aren't headlines out there about TEA party protesters clashing with police? There is a good reason for this. It is because they 1) knew the time and place for the protest and weren't wandering around town. 2) had a central message in a singular group.

Hopefully we are clear as to why to protest. Examples of successful protesting can be found in numerous places. Some even that aren't liked by just about anyone.

Here are some examples of good protesting done the right way.


TEA Party Protest, Washington DC 9-12

Notice in the above example how police weren't in full riot gear peppering the massive crowd with tear gas, rubber bullets, sonic cannons, and bean bag rounds? Do you think this is by accident? Or perhaps a well organized and PEACEABLE protest done right?

Disclaimer: while I dont agree with the above protest, I agree to their right to protest.


KKK Rally in Stephenville TX March 17th, '07

Notice again, with proper permits the police aren't beating the KKK down (although I bet they wish they could) Proper protective measures were taken and this is a protest that went well, freedom of speech was upheld and a protest went off without a hitch.

Disclaimer: while I dont agree with the above protest, I agree to their right to protest.


Nazi Party rally in Washington DC.

Now watch the above and see what is right and wrong. Now obviously Neo Nazis are a hate group and are pieces of garbage in my opinion but that's my personal opinion. They however got a permit and held their protest the right way. Now some people protesting these human pieces of fecal material did the wrong thing by trying to start fights with the Neo Nazis and thus got beat on by police. I am sure that the police did not want to beat on people. It's just that these people were in the wrong. Even slime like the Neo Nazi party do have the right to freedom of speech and they had the right to peaceably assemble.

Disclaimer: while I dont agree with the above protest, I agree to their right to protest.


WestboroBaptist Church Chicago IL.

Even the Nutjobs with the Westboro Baptist Church can protest freely without a beat down by police. Why? Because they are protected by the 1st Amendment of the United States.

Disclaimer: while I dont agree with the above protest, I agree to their right to protest.

Now can we see the similarities in the above protests? Do you notice that the above protests aren't confronting police officers, smashing windows, setting cars on fire, or pushing dumpsters over in the streets?

Lesson 3: Permits



As promised, here is the lesson on permits and why to have them.

While you do have the absolutely protected right to freedom of speech in this country and are able to say what you want when you want to, there are limits. For protesters this means permits. This is very important because permits tell the city that you are going to hold the protest in that you are going to be there and that you are going to protest something. It's not important what you protest, cities really don't care, you could protest against argyle socks for all they care, but you must simply have the proper permits, especially when your group gets over a certain number.

So if you are going to plan your protest against the evils of argyle socks, check with your local government about protest laws and permits that need to be taken out for such an event. Permits are generally easy to get and are important to have. Spontaneous violent protests are usually met with police action. Carefully planned protests however are greeted with respect from the authorities and they will additionally help protect your protesters from harm from the pro argyle sock community.

Then after you have your permits make sure that you coordinate with all the people that are going to be involved with the protest to make sure they are on the same page with your agenda. Bob may be confused and think your protesting for more argyle socks, which is embarrassing for bob and may cause people to not know what your protest is about.

And please, don't include smashing windows and burning cars or upturning dumpsters in your protest, this kinda violates the peaceable part of protesting, and makes cops want to do this to you. Part of the problem with some protests is that they sometimes make people you didn't expect show up in either a rival protest or an accompany protest. This was the case with the G 20 protests. Some rowdy anarchist group may think that your protest would complement theirs. The problem with the anarchists is that before the protest even began they decided to post online their plans to smash stuff and cause mayhem. All the while somehow thinking that police wouldn't know to check these sort of sites for information...


Wrong place/Wrong time/Off message

The problem is that these people weren't in the proper place, they smashed windows and upturned garbage bins. They attacked police and so the police attacked back. Also a side note about protests, wearing a bandanna makes you look like your up to no good. It makes police officers twitchy, please, if you are indeed there to be peaceful protesters you have no need to disguise yourself. (Unless its of course a satirical mask of a political figure)

Protesting is a sacred right in America, doing so the right way is imperative. So when you are planning your protest please make sure you follow these simple things so that your protest goes well. We all have freedom of speech and the right to peaceable assembly, but what we don't have is the freedom to trash stuff.

Thank you for your time I hope you learned something here about the art of protesting the right way. May your next protest go well and I hope that your message is heard while using this great tool of non violent resistance and freedom of speech. It's a right that does need to be protected and used. It's your rights America, use them wisely.




posted on Oct, 4 2009 @ 11:23 PM
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great thread

most important thread to star, flag, digg, and coerce mods to applaud.



posted on Oct, 4 2009 @ 11:49 PM
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Although I agree with the points you are making, I do have a slight problem with one of these points. Isn't getting a permit for a "free speech zone" only going to make your voice NOT be heard? Because if memory serves me well these "free speech zones" during protests are strategically placed far away from the target and from the people who are suppose to get the message.

just saying.



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 12:19 AM
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reply to post by newworld
 


Ah but your forgetting about the media involvement in the proper protest. In this day and age its your media coverage that matters more than ever to get your voice heard in a protest. Having a wide spread out protest as we saw with the G 20 protests was a detriment. Reporters were all over the place getting mixed messages and in some cases getting into trouble with the clashing between protesters and police.

This is also a part of planning a good protest. In the planning stage you should try and get as close as possible to where you want the protest to be. If the city zones you in a place that you feel is inadequate for your protest. (the cashmere sock district instead of the argyle sock district) then petition or sue to get the area you want. Location location location not only means having the right location. It means having the proper public utilities for a protest. In large protests make sure to locate it near bathrooms or have some brought in. There is nothing worse than having a bunch of protesters that have to walk a half a mile to use a port o john.

Spontaneous protests arent good protests. Protests are better if well thought out and well planned. Taking the TEA party protests as a prime example of successful protesting, as you can see, good planning and media coverage makes all the difference in getting your message out there.

Spontaneity is good in love making not protesting. Although some couples that have been married a long time might argue that protesting and love making are one and the same.

Rarely is the city going to give a protest the first preferred place they want. What your going to want in protesting is a location that is near enough to your intended protestee and close to bathrooms. If the city gives you a bad location to protest in, file for a new permit. The permit is the key that makes the difference between a Tea Party protest and a G 20 Protest.

Never underestimate the power of media coverage, good coverage can turn even a failed protest into a powerful message for change.

Proper media coverage can turn the opinions of the masses. The key in good protesting is the less violent the better.

Would you rather be remembered as the protest group that did this?


or this?



Which image sends more of a clear picture to the people that you are trying to influence?



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 12:26 AM
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reply to post by whatukno
 


but the TEA party protests were mostly ignored by the media and given only about five minutes of coverage. Newspapers and T.V. news had different numbers when it came to how many people were in the protest. Even then the protest was not the main headline.

How can a protest be successful when even the media downplays it?



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 12:56 AM
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reply to post by newworld
 


The success of the TEA party protests were in the fact that they never got violent, they had a clear singular message, and they were well coordinated. The media did cover the protests, depending on the newscast you watched.

I mean your right, some networks did not cover the protests well. That is the problem with political ideology. Some news groups will largely ignore you, others will cover you more. Some will make fun of you, others will take you more seriously.

All together however I feel that the TEA party protests were a huge success even though I disagree with the message they had I have to applaud the way they handled their protests.

While I see the G-20 protests as an utter failure. The reason is that it in fact did get violent. (Thanks largely to Anarchists who came to the protest with the intent on smashing windows, and causing a ruckus) The G-20 protests did not have a singular clear message and they also strayed out of the permitted protest route and those are the reasons why they clashed with police.

Your never going to change the world with a protest. It's just not going to happen. What you are going to do however is influence people. You get your message out the right way and people are going to be sympathetic. You get your message out the wrong way and people are going to be cold to your cause.



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 01:02 AM
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I wouldn't even consider the G20 protestors. protestors at all. They just seemed like anarchists bent on drug-fueled destruction and disobedience. Most carried hammers, rather than protest signs.



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 03:14 AM
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You make some very valid points and there are many things that should be taken note of. That being said.... Can you show me a video where these protesters at the G20 were breaking windows? Burning cars? Turning over dumpsters? I recall one video where a dumpster was rolled into a police barricade, however one could also argue that it was a case of self defense.

Protesters at the G20 were attacked with weapons that our military uses against "terrorist" in Iraq. Once those weapons were used against peaceful protesters, do you not invite retaliation?

I love the picture of the broken windows at the Boston Market. Are you aware of the video in another thread that suggest the windows were broken by police shooting bean bag rounds at protesters who were trying to get away and not the protesters themselves?

Aside from all that, let's get down to what the Constitution actually says..

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


Now wouldn't being forced to apply for a permit that allows you to peacefully assemble in a specified location be a law that limits your right to peacefully assemble? The right to peacefully assemble means you have the right to do so...anywhere. The Constitution does not say you have the right to assemble in a place where your Government allows you to at a time they allow you to do so. What it says, is that doing so is your right as an American. If the document says, "Congress shall make NO LAW..." than wouldn't making a law that requires me to ask permission to assemble and protest, in and of itself be a violation of the Constitution?

[edit on 5-10-2009 by MrWendal]



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 06:29 AM
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reply to post by MrWendal
 



Can you show me a video where these protesters at the G20 were breaking windows? Burning cars? Turning over dumpsters? I recall one video where a dumpster was rolled into a police barricade, however one could also argue that it was a case of self defense.


Lemme see what I can come up with.


Now obviously we shouldn't go just on the reports from one news agency. So let's hear it from the protesters themselves.

anarchistnews.org


Imagine, if you will, gentle reader, the animist version of this story in which dumpsters, long accused of complicity in anarchist “lifestylism,” step out of their social role to join the social war. Free food, even when distributed via programs like Food Not Bombs, is not enough—we want freedom itself, and the dumpster does too, and it gains momentum down the hill as it rolls, alone and magnificent, directly into a pair of oblivious policemen.



As Liberty Avenue makes its way southeast through Bloomfield, it passes through a shopping district full of small restaurants, bars, and banks. The march was remarkably timid in this environment, considering that there were no police around whatsoever. Perhaps it really is true that property destruction largely occurs as a reaction to police violence; it may even be that self-professed insurrectionists find it psychologically easier to smash things in the comparative danger of a police confrontation than in the absence of any authorities. In any event, there was practically no property destruction until finally a bank on one side of the street was attacked.



Shortly after 10 p.m., a Bash Back!-themed black bloc a hundred or more strong appeared on Forbes Street between Atwood Street and Oakland Avenue. The march was pushing half a dozen or more dumpsters, which were upended in the intersections while seemingly all the corporate businesses on the block lost their windows. Another dumpster was rolled further down the street and set alight before being upended as the bloc fled north.




Protesters at the G20 were attacked with weapons that our military uses against "terrorist" in Iraq. Once those weapons were used against peaceful protesters, do you not invite retaliation?


From what I read and saw, the protesters were warned first before any attacks came. Could it be that the protesters decided instead of leaving they were going to confront the cops and then the cops decided to use less than lethal force to disperse the crowd?


I love the picture of the broken windows at the Boston Market. Are you aware of the video in another thread that suggest the windows were broken by police shooting bean bag rounds at protesters who were trying to get away and not the protesters themselves?


From the above video, and the anarchists website, doesn't it seem more likely that the protesters were the ones breaking things?


Aside from all that, let's get down to what the Constitution actually says..
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


Now wouldn't being forced to apply for a permit that allows you to peacefully assemble in a specified location be a law that limits your right to peacefully assemble? The right to peacefully assemble means you have the right to do so...anywhere. The Constitution does not say you have the right to assemble in a place where your Government allows you to at a time they allow you to do so. What it says, is that doing so is your right as an American. If the document says, "Congress shall make NO LAW..." than wouldn't making a law that requires me to ask permission to assemble and protest, in and of itself be a violation of the Constitution?


Now I wonder if anyone has ever been denied a permit? That would be unconstitutional.

From what I understand about permits is this. "I am going to do X on such and such a date be advised." The permit basically says, "Ok the city of blah blah blah acknowledges that you will be in X location, doing Y on Z date."

I have pulled permits for parties before, I wasn't denied any permits. The city was very helpful in making sure I got any necessary permits and inspections I needed. Some permits were even free from what I remember. (The building permit for the tent was like $25.00 or something. Which covered the cost of the building inspector to come out and make sure it wasn't sparking smoking or on fire.)

I think that permits for a protest must be pretty easy to get if Neo-Nazis and KKK members can get them. Kinda tells me that no one is denied a permit, but that they are necessary to keep order.



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 04:26 PM
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reply to post by whatukno
 


Interesting tidbits from the Anarchist website, and certainly does seem plausible. However, I have to wonder how much of it is truth and how much of it is just some idiot trying take credit for things he did not actually do. Maybe it is just me, be I see the word "Anarchist", I think back to some early 80's Punk Rock songs, in my mind I see these clueless Emo kids dressed in all black down to their lovely, matching black finger nails. All just looking for anything to rebel against. Of course this image is completely reinforced when you actually see these people show up at protest and on videos of protest.

Something I also find interesting to note... after watching the video of the news report you posted. The Talking Head describes the broken windows etc etc as more of an insurgent type of attack. Much the way we hear about the same thing in Iraq. People who simply blend into the crowd, attack and then disappear again into the crowd. To this I have to cry BS. On every video of this protest I have seen, you can easily point out the "anarchist" as they happen to stick out like a big pimple in between the eyes of a very large pale faced boy on Prom Night.

Let's suppose for the sake of argument that the way it was reported is indeed the truth, does that justify the use of LRAD's on everyone in the area? Does it justify shooting rubber bullets at people in the crowd that these "anarchist" are hiding in? Does the tear gas just magically single out the offending criminal party? At the end of the day are these actions just not the equivalent of turning the whole house to screw in a light bulb?

Also interesting to note: The video you provided can also be found on This Thread and is claimed to be from the person who filmed it. His claims, if you read the thread, paint a totally different picture. So again I say, that there is an argument that can be made that in some cases it can be looked at as self defense.

Now I'd like to address a few points you made.

From what I read and saw, the protesters were warned first before any attacks came. Could it be that the protesters decided instead of leaving they were going to confront the cops and then the cops decided to use less than lethal force to disperse the crowd?


I agree they were warned before hand to disperse, but on who's authority? According to the Constitution you have the right to assemble. Not the right to assemble at a point in time that the state allows you to do so. Protesters of the 60's were also warned to disperse, right before the attacks dogs were sent in, the tear gas, the stormtroopers with their "Riot Control Gear".


Now I wonder if anyone has ever been denied a permit? That would be unconstitutional. From what I understand about permits is this. "I am going to do X on such and such a date be advised." The permit basically says, "Ok the city of blah blah blah acknowledges that you will be in X location, doing Y on Z date."


Yes people have been denied permits to protest. Here are a few examples.

Here you can rad information on permits being denied for the republican National Convention in 2004 in NYC.

Here Here and Here you can read about permits denied protesters at the G20, as reported by the MSM.

Funny how the KKK can get a permit to protest, but when people who are NOT so easily discredited and ridiculed want to protest the actions of the own Government, they can not get a permit to do so.

Now one can say that since people were denied permits to protest at the G20 were breaking the law to begin with, I will simply address with a quote from Martin Luther King


I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law. -Martin Luther King Jr.


Yet again however we find ourselves in the same circle and coming back to the same issue. The Constitution. If protesting without a permit is "Illegal" would that not be in direct conflict with"


Congress shall MAKE NO LAW respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.


In closing I'd just like to say, it is nice to finally disagree with someone and discuss our disagreement on the topic without any of the nonsense we see so much of in threads on this site. I look forward to your next response.



posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 06:17 AM
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reply to post by MrWendal
 


I wonder, is the delay of a protest permit enough to justify this?



Obviously these are non violent protesters
I mean that squad car was obviously oppressing that man and he was forced to act against the onslaught.

I wonder, did the permit request specify that dumpsters would be set on fire? What message does that convey? Is it a protest against landfills?



(camera phone shots trickle in to show what really happened in Pittsburgh.)

I'm not saying that there wasn't an overwhelming non violent tone to the Pittsburgh protests. I am saying however that an agenda by the anarchist group was set to make sure the police took action. The anarchists pre planned and made sure that there was going to be a police retaliation so that they could point to it and say "Look at the oppression!"

This reminds me of something, what is it?


I'm not going to defend the state when they deny permits for people to protest. I do believe that is wrong. I believe that people do have the constitutional right to protest. I believe anyone that requests a permit should have one. It after all is a constitutional right. But just like gun laws while it is a right it has to be coordinated.

But does the denial of a permit or the delay of a permit give a person justification and the right to damage public and private property in response? Is the onset of violent behavior the solution to a denial or delay?

Or is civil action required? Is it better to show that your protest has justification by going to the news media, going online, going to court and making a non violent stink about your constitutionally guaranteed rights being trampled on by a non caring and oppressive regime?

Instead some of the protesters decided that violence was the answer, and went ahead and started smashing things and burning things. (all of which they were planning to do anyway)



posted on Oct, 7 2009 @ 01:38 PM
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Again we can find ourselves locked in the same mindset... who fired first? The pictures of the protester tossing rocks at a police car are certainly damning, however I have to wonder. Was that photo taken before or after the police used LRAD's on people? Was it before or after the first tear gas canister was deployed? If it was after, I would suggest again we have ourselves another argument about self defense. If it was before... than you sir are right on the money with your assessment. It is the most basic of human reactions after all. Fight or flight.

The picture of the burning dumpster I have not seen before. That being said, that picture was clearly taken at night and as we have seen in many videos to date, police fired rubber bullets, bean bag rounds, deployed tear gas, and used LRAD's on protesters during the daytime hours. Does it shock me that things would escalate to a point where dumpsters are set on fire? Not at all. Violence begets more violence.



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