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for a populist uprising
Grant and Layla Aslani, Extracted from Yes! Magazine
to cross the divide
Before you talk,
listen. Attend community gatherings. Get to know the people you
want to reach and listen to their hopes and fears.
that connect you, like being a parent or dealing with high gas prices,
to build trust before bringing up issues that might spark disagreement.
points of view. For example talk about how an Afghani villager feels
about us attacking their country.
on politicians or others who hold different views, and the United
Focus on why
the issues matter to you. Speak from your heart and experience.
language. Ask yourself if you come across as friendly or as a know-it-all.
problems. Suggest action people can take, and talk about examples
article by Doug Orbaker
How to get media attention
Find a newsworthy
angle on your event or cause. Human interest, controversy, civil
disobedience, superlatives (first, biggest) help.
Create a short
press release. Make it accessible and factual, with contact information.
who cover issues related to your own.
Develop a 30-second
pitch for your story. Don't lie or exaggerate-build a reputation
coverage of your issue when pitching your story.
and articulate spokespeople. An unexpected spokespeople (a veteran
for peace or a doctor for single-payer health care) can be especially
interesting to a journalist.
give up if a journalist isn't interested. Correct them if
they get the story wrong, and thank those who cover it well.
to build a coalition
Identify a goal
that is widely shared, for example, increased support for education.
Avoid taking positions on unrelated issues; learn to respectfully
"agree to disagree" on topics not essential to your
allies who share your concerns, including religious, political,
civic, and neighborhood groups.
interest and concerns about collaborating, and explore ways to address
making so that power is shared among coalition members and timely
action is possible.
plan. Set short-term and long-term goals. Choose among strategy
options: large public campaigns, behind -the-scenes lobbying,
popular education, etc.
partners to reach out to their own network of friends and allies
to widen support.
to build trust
liberty. Each of us relies on society's commitment to freedom
to assure our own liberty. I'll respect your liberty if you'll
diversity includes diversity you don't like. Treat your opposition
with fairness and respect, as potential allies rather than as certain
Bust a few stereotypes,
and start thinking about somebody else's problems. You'll
make new friends and change others' view of you. Gays against
pension cutbacks, women for drug reform, blacks for small business,
easier wins to build momentum for the difficult issues that may
take years to get.
Describe a future
worth fighting for. Optimism is deeply ingrained in American culture.
We need to point out what wrong without simultaneously casting a
pall over other's vision of the future.
Source: Sam Smith at prorev.com
to take direct action
can bring people together while raising awareness. Here, for example,
is a model developed by City Life/Vida Urbana for protesting foreclosures:
from an organization that provides legal advice and support for
those facing foreclosure.
neighborhood to find support. Tell the story of the family involved,
and explain how a foreclosure harms the community.
Warn the bank
that a protest is planned. Send out press releases.
family, friends, faith groups, and organization members at the house
for the scheduled foreclosure. Hold signs and use a megaphone to
tell the story of the homeowner.
in thwarting the foreclosure, use the extra time to negotiate with
Source: City Life/Vida Urbana
to organize online
To keep members of your group informed, set up a list serve (find
them at riseup.net or Google). List servers allow people to subscribe,
unsubscribe, and share files easily.
- Get the
reader's attention with an interesting hook
- Make the
text straightforward, not wordy, and break it up with bullet points
and short paragraphs
everything the reader needs to take action and ask recipients
of forward the email
- Limit emails
to once every couple of weeks, except during a campaign climax
confident pieces on a single subject. Update frequently, and reference
your emails, along with information on how to subscribe to your
email list. Free blogging sites include; www.blogger.com,
uses of the new media
Share photos on Flickr or videos YouTube. You can link to these
shared images from your website, blog or emails.
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