Effective Picketing
Picketing the site of an activity that is particularly abusive to animals is a highly effective technique for expressing our deeply held view. The action provides high visibility and requires as few as half a dozen participants. As is the case with all forms of direct action, picketing should be undertaken only after both the issues and the target have been researched and selected with care and attempts at a negotiated solution have failed or would clearly be futile.

The following is a rather comprehensive outline of the steps involved in mounting an effective picket. Clearly, some of these steps can be abridged or eliminated to reflect local circumstances.

Resources for becoming an activist

Student Projects

Starting Your Own Group

Planning Campaigns

Effective Picketing

Rallies and Marches

Conducting a Vigil

High School Organizing

How to Make The News

Demonstration Check List
(PDF format - Adobe Acrobat Reader required)

Call organizing meeting
  • Discuss detailed implementation of each step
  • Assign responsibilities

Select date and times

  • Consider availability of participants and media representatives (an extended lunch hour works well)
  • Consider schedule of target activity (no point picketing an empty building)
  • Consider staying and return ability of participants (it’s much better to keep coming back for one hour than to come back once for eight hours)

Select location

Select precise picket site and assembly and staging site

Consider proximity to target activity, safety, availability of parking, access

Check on permit requirements

(Most jurisdictions do not require a permit for picketing on public property, as long as participants keep moving and do not obstruct pedestrian or vehicular traffic; however, leafletting, use of bullhorns, or signs for sticks may be restricted)

Develop program

  • Consider major objectives of picket (generally to attract favorable coverage)
  • Consider availability of local resources and participants
  • Potential events: walking a loop pattern with signs, handing out leaflets, chanting, short speeches, street theater (e.g., symbolic animal in cage or butchering act)

Prepare signs and leaflets

  • Should be dignified, reasonable, defensible before a media representative, and designed to appeal to the general public
  • IDA can supply signs and leaflets and brochures

Notify participants

  • Send notice or activate telephone tree for your own people
  • Request support from other organizations (animal, vegetarian, hunger, consumer)
  • Put up notices in suitable locations
  • Ask participants to be on time at the assembly site and to dress appropriately for the occasion and the weather
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