Please read the short essay, or just click the answers to these simple questions. You may need to *enable popups.
Please click on the statement that you think would be LEAST harmful to an effective picket line:
1. Walking slowly
2. Grouping up to chat with friends
3. Pushing the TV cameraman out of the way
4. Bringing a sign from your favorite cause, no matter what is the purpose of the picket
Please click on the statement that would be MOST helpful to an effective picket line
1. Making sure the picket line is long enough
2. Participate in songs and chants, especially when reporters are near
3. Show the world how tough you are
4. Being the first to volunteer to talk to reporters
*If popups don't work when you click on the answers, you will probably get a yellow line across the top of your screen. Click on it and choose "temporarily enable popups."
Picket with Purpose
You may want to watch a short (3 minute) video, read the essay, or just work the questions.
A picket line is one of the strongest tactics at workers' disposal. Even though the law does not recognize our right to block traffic, moral people will not cross our picket lines. Even if the picket line's only purpose is to publicize an injustice or air a simple demand, it is not taken lightly.
Unfortunately, however, individual picketers often forget the importance of their purpose. The problem, usually, is the social nature of the action. People tend to "group up" to exchange conversation rather than keeping their minds on their purpose. Others simply aren't thinking about optimizing the tactic's effectiveness. Some just don't know how to picket.
For that last group, here are a few tips:
1. Remember why you are picketing. Keep your picket signs up and facing your target audience.
2. Maintain an even distance between yourself and the person in front. Even three people can make a decent picket line, if they pay attention. Usually, 2 or 3 paces is a good distance. Many times, organizers make the mistake of setting a picket from a certain Point A to another Point B, without regard to the number of picketers. It's better to have a uniform picket over a short distance than a long picket with big gaps in it.
3. Stay in single file, avoid the temptation to socialize
4. Remember that picket sounds may be just as important as appearances. Keep up the chanting!
5. Avoid staring at reporters or TV cameras, but maintain consciousness of them. Remember that TV cameras are equipped with microphones and news programs are much more likely to use clips that have both good visual AND good audio
6. Stay on target. If you aren't designated to talk to reporters, avoid it.
7. Keep moving. Set a good example for the newer picketers who are less experienced
8. Make sure that your signs, and the signs of others, are on target with the purpose of the event.