Help Rallies and Protests Succeed

Mason Cummings, The Wilderness Society

Make a strong showing on rally day

Rallies or demonstrations are a great way to raise visibility for conservation and environmental issues. They can help send messages to decision makers and spread awareness to the public. To be successful, rallies require certain elements. Whether you're an veteran protester or attending your first demonstration, your presence will be welcome. So grab your demonstration sign and get out there. But first, check out our tips below for how you can help make things go smoothly.

Before the rally

Spread the word by sharing invitations or Facebook event pages on your social networks. If you are an organizer, be sure to let local newspapers and media know days ahead of time.

At the rally

Organizers often provide tools for making signs, but you can make your own ahead of time to ensure a strong visual statement. If there is a check-in table, be sure to stop by and sign your name to petitions as well as any mailing lists for future events.

After the rally

During and after the rally, keep the buzz going by sharing photos as well as local news stories on your social networks using popular hashtags.

Tag your Congress member to help drive publicity about the event. Share local media posts and leave supportive comments on social news media feeds. Use the comments sections of news stories and social media posts to add critical information that the reporter may have left out.

Climate March 2017, DC

Marching for the climate in Washington, DC

Jonathan Meyers, The Wilderness Society

Tips for success

  1. Demonstrate peacefully

    Be peaceful and respectful to passers by and ignore those who taunt or attempt to incite violence. It goes without saying that you should never damage public property in the course of a protest.

  2. Welcome the media

    Nothing helps amplify your voice like the news media can. If you're approached by a reporter, be willing to talk about why you have come or help the reporter get information. If you're uncomfortable being on camera or being quoted, point the reporter in the direction of an organizer or someone who can serve as an articulate spokesperson in your group.

  3. Stick to the issue

    Whether it's the words on your picket sign or the banter you engage in, you'll want to keep your focus on the issue at hand. Don't get lured into heated dialogue or arguments with passers-by. If the rally is about climate change, keep the focus on climate change.

  4. Be constructive

    When possible focus on solution-oriented messages for picket signs, slogans or chants. Avoid polarizing slogans that don't further the debate in a constructive way. Steer clear of picket signs or banter that spreads false "either-or" arguments. For example, pro-development voices might like the public to believe we must choose between jobs or conservation, but this is a false argument.