The power of the public is felt in the streets. There is a certain energy that lives in the manifestations on the street. There is tradition and innovation, repression and exhilaration, fear and courage! We celebrate all kinds.
There is nothing like giant marches and rallies but the impact of one person holding a sign on a street corner can be incredible. In between is the stuff of immense creativity, beyond is the projection of meaningful direct public power. The best tactics are the ones that fit your campaign like a glove at the moment that makes it the most powerful. It can be driven by emotional improvisation or be created with detailed planning. The best allows for both.
There are 3 audiences that are engaged in various ways. Most participants consider that the audience is supposed to be the onlookers from cafes and homes. For those onlookers participants have the goal of generating their participation. Organizers are often focused on gaining the audience of those that they consider of influence. The goal then is to sway the influencers towards the direction that the participant winds of change are blowing. The third and most often overlooked audience is the audience of the participants themselves. “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players,” as Shakespeare famously stated. In the interest of the participants the goal is their own empowerment and the enrichment of the threads woven in the culture of their lives.
Let’s not forget to always pay heed to every audience in our public protests. We write their reviews by our actions. We succeed by their reactions.
Be prepared. All public protests require training, education and preparation. The more improvisational public protests are the most difficult to do well and requires the most training and education. Public protests no matter how well planned though are always lived in the moment. And the present moment is the only time when change is possible.
Get out on the streets, the parks, lawns, sidewalks, community centers, malls, parking lots and bridges! Be part of the action!