Real Art Protest – Protest 101

You feel passion about an injustice? You realize a law is not a right? Step up and step into a situation to change. Here are a couple rules to play the political game.

Rule 1 – Set a goal to spread awareness about an issue. Put pressure on those in power to make a specific change.

Rule 2 – Chose a location. It could be practical, symbolic or done through social media.

Rule 3 – Set a time to make your move. You want to have the largest crowd and an immense impact.

Rule 4 – Know your landscape. Find out from city officials whether you need permission to gather. It may sound counterintuitive but you don’t want the protest to be disbanded without traction.

Rule 5- Plan the event to the end. Who will speak? What will you chant? Where will you march? And how will you share knowledge about the issue? If you’re like me you may use art.

Rule 6 – Publicize the protest. Treat your protest like a commercial and make sure everybody sees it.

Rule 7- Bring everything needed. Use your head to gather posters, flyers and first aid.

Rule 8 – Dress for the situation. Dress for comfort. Dress to be unified and know you may be dressed in handcuffs.

Rule 9 – Emergency supplies. Grab your ID card and protest permit. Don’t forget a rag soaked in apple cider stored in a plastic bag. This will stop tear gas from making you cry.

Rule 10 – Protests are unpredictable. If you’re not the organizer know as much about the group you’re protesting with as possible.

Rule 11 – Know your rights like your job. You have rights as a protestor and learn how to deal with cops. If a cop asks to search you, you have the right to decline. But they may take the liberty to arrest you.

Rule 12 – Protest safely. Don’t create any situation that can be used against you. All it takes is vandalism to destroy your protest.

Rule 13 – Control the narrative. Make sure someone’s able to record or write your story. Misinformation can go viral quicker than the truth.

Rule 14 – All rules are breakable. A revolution calls for antagonizing and disrupting any state that is fundamentally and systematically against the people.

Rashaun J. Allen (@rashaunjallen) is an MFA in Creative Writing and Literature candidate at SUNY Stony Brook, where he is working on Christine’s Dream – A Memoir of Love, Loss & Life. He is the author of  A Walk Through Brooklyn & In The Moment and has been featured in The South Hampton Review. Find more of his work at

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