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Ideas for action

Be symbolic, be visible and show your opposition! Be strategic

occupying your principal's office when she/he has no real control over ending the war isn't strategic, it's a hassle to the office workers who will be less-inclined to listen or work with you later on (but if the issue you want to address is the allowing of military recruiter's into the school, this is still an action that probably won't work, at least if you use it as a starting point, if you've never expressed your concerns about the presence of recruiters before - but taking the day to have dialogue and a meeting with school administration is a more strategic first step)

Below are some ideas for action that are highly visible, do them separately or in conjunction with one another - talk it out as a group to see what your goals/interests are for the action and what you have on hand to make it possible. Find a busy area or time of day on campus to do your action or event - you'll draw some passersby in along with causing others to talk/think about the war on their way to class or work. Some of these require more planning, others can be done with little planning/supplies and could be done several times and places around campus in a day or week - mix and match depending on your campus climate.

  • a Rally - space for people to gather and speak about the war
  • March - coffins to represent those who have been killed, pictures to represent the dead or those still living in war, puppets, solemnly read the names of the dead - you can be serious or somber
  • Call your Members of Congress - set up outside the student union, get some folks to donate their cellphones for an hour, have a script (example coming soon!) outlining what people should say, get the direct number for the local rep or senators' offices here. Do it once or for several days at different times/places. Check out our sample call-in script.
  • Teach-ins - set up a workshop to talk to folks about the war and what actions you can take. Use it to start a new group or reinvigorate your existing group's membership.
  • Forums or panels - most communities have a couple folks who know a lot about the war, the Middle East, peace, etc. - including you - set up a series of them on different aspects of the war here and abroad. Need outside help? Ask us about the Realities of War Tour
  • Town Hall Discussions - there's been very little space for people to discuss the war in our communities. Invite local community leaders and elected officials (with some effort you can get Rep or Senator there) and talk about how people are affected in the community and what actions you can take collectively, if you get legislators there, put them on the spot and push them to commit to action.
  • Sit-ins or Die-ins - find a busy spot on campus and stage a die-in, have signs or someone with a bullhorn to explain that you're representing a fraction of those who have lost their lives because of this war, both Iraqi and American, and the estimates of dead and names is a powerful way to remind people that it is real people dying everyday. You may want a permit, depending on how strict your campus is, or just make sure you're not blocking the full sidewalk or thoroughfare.
  • Open mics - get a local or campus venue and hold a night of creative resistance - make the focus politics or the war specifically and hear what people have to say through words or music. Or if you know a few political bands, put together a show. Use the time to make banners, posters or other materials for upcoming events or have people write letters to their members of congress. Organizing has to be about community building and preventing burn out too, so have fun, and you could raise some funds for your group too.
  • Banner drops - have a big basketball game coming up? Or a scary warmonger coming to your school? Scope out the auditorium or gym where it'll be, see where there's places you could drop a banner over railing or where people could stand up and hold a banner that would be really visible. Make people think about the war, no more business as usual, the people in Iraq deal with it every moment of every day and we should too. Eventually someone will come and demand that you take it down, people holding the banner should have a discussion beforehand and a plan - to either comply immediately, wait to be asked a few more times and/or decide to be arrested, think about the climate on your campus and what the likely repercussions or initial contact with authority figures/fellow students will look like.

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