Practical Suggestions for Protesters
Most of us are new at protesting. Here’s some very useful suggestions from WhiteKat.
I’ve got a few (OK, five) suggestions having been at 3 protests now so far myself.
(1) First, have fun! You may feel nervous at the beginning, but it is more exciting than nerve wracking, and kind of addicting.
(2) Second, present yourself as CANADIANS, and FATCA as being harmful to CANADIANS. If people see FATCA as an issue affecting only ‘Americans living in Canada’, they may be sympathetic to your plight, but will quickly dismiss it. You want to get them PISSED OFF with what USA is trying to do to CANADA and Canadians. ANGRY PEOPLE TAKE ACTION! Sympathetic people don’t (IMHO).
(3) Third, Keeping in mind your goals (re: second point) , think about what you want to say to people who will ask you questions like: ‘What is FATCA?’ or ‘FATCA only affects Americans, so what?’ If you have prepared your answers ahead of time, you won’t get tongue-tied when people stop to talk to you.
(4) Fourth, re: signs. For those that are traveling by bus, ferry, or walking, and may have trouble with cumbersome signs, you can buy 2 sheets of bristol board (or similar) that is rollable. Do up a slogan on each board, staple them together back to back, and roll them up for easy carry. Keep in mind that people will view your sign from both sides, so make sure they are oriented in the same direction so that one side is not being displayed upside down when you are holding them up! In case of wet weather, you can either laminate your signs (I didn’t) or you can purchase clear plastic (I bought some at Staples which comes in a roll for $2.49 enough for one sign), and cut to fit your sign, then tape or staple to secure it. Sticks or posts to attach to the sign make holding them up easier, but aren’t necessary (I didn’t bother).
(5) Fifth, fewer words on your signs are better because they can be quickly read by passersby, and you can make the letters bigger for easier viewing. See slogan suggestions here: http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/anti-fatca-slogans-for-protest-signs/
And Calgary411 adds:
- to point (2): Yes, very important — you are Canadians. In addition to how this affects you personally as a ‘US Person’ — this is a cost to ALL Canadians in additional bank fees but, more importantly, in this country’s sovereignty — not allowing our financial institutions and our CRA to be arms of the IRS.
- and: …plus, it will just be good for you to meet each other over this effort!
And Mark Twain adds:
- Anything participative helps–coffee, hot chocolate, balloons, candy.
- Also, remember some people are shy to approach by themselves, but will listen behind someone who is already talking. The first person is the toughest, the others follow easier. If you have a friend that can start a conversation with you first, others will listen.