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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:59 AM
Original message
How hard can it be to organize a rally?
I've been following the ANSWER wars and the one defense of ANSWER I keep seeing is, "No one else is capable of organizing a rally."

I call bullshit on that.

As a DC resident, I've seen a bunch of marches, protests, and the like. It seems like anyone with a little drive and some organizational skills can pull this off.

Here are some of the people who have gotten hundreds of thousands of people to the mall:

Louis Farrakhan, who is crazier than a shithouse rat. To this day, The Million Man March is the most impressive display I've ever seen on the Mall.

Bill McCartney, who could barely organize a two-minute drill. A half-bright football coach was able to get hundreds of thousands of middle-aged white men to give up their weekend to stand in the sun and listen to endless riffs on what fatherhood means. The Promise Keepers rally is the second-most impressive display I've ever seen, just because you never see a crowd that looks like that. Anyone can get college kids in town for the weekend. You try to get my neighbor Bill off the golf course.

Rosie O'Donnell. She had a hard time matching wits with Tom Selleck. Yet, she got the crowd on the Mall for the anti-gun rally.

The point being, it CAN'T be that hard.
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hippiechick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:00 AM
Response to Original message
1. Gor for it ... let's see what you come up with.
2 hour long rallies in a local park are HELLISH to organize and manage, I'm curious to see what you're able to do at the National level.

:eyes:
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:02 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. It's football season
I'm not giving up my weekends.

But I'm sure that there are ambitious folks out there.
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:07 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. Good to know you have your priorities straight.
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TallahasseeGrannie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:03 AM
Response to Original message
3. Thanks for this morning's smile
"Louis Farrakhan, who is crazier than a shithouse rat"

Regarding your topic, I would think there would be professional people to pay to get the paperwork done, the porta potties, etc.

I know all the arguments about ANSWER and why that should not deter participation, but the simple fact is that it DOES deter people from coming, and particularly deters moderate Dem politicians from committing.

An old problem, I guess, for the left. How far to go.
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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:06 AM
Response to Original message
4. I've organized and promoted folk music events for 3 decades
and it is very hard to put together anything that can draw over 100,000 people.



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Virginian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:26 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. Word of mouth advertising.
I don't remember getting my engraved invitation from ANSWER to attend the march. It must have gotten lost in the mail.

Until Saturday, I didn't know ANSWER had anything to do with the march. I just knew there was one. What part did ANSWER play? They provided a stage and sound system and applied for a permit. (Someone in another post said they "Negotiated a permit.") What else did they do?
Cindy provided the advertising. If it weren't for Cindy, word would not have gotten out that there was a March on Washington. Cindy was the draw, she (and her cause) was what got people to fill the streets of DC. Cindy's movement was the word of mouth advertising that made the hundreds of thousands of people show up.

This proves that there is an entrepreneurial need in DC for a company to provide a stage and microphone and help applicants work through the permit required for such an assembly. That company may already exist, there may already be a rent-a-tent company that does all that.
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LynneSin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:09 AM
Response to Original message
6. Planned Parenthood/NARAL had close to a million in April 2004
one of the best organized protests EVER. The speakers were all related to the issue at hand (Pro-Choice/Anti-Bush) and the march started very close to the kick-off time.

Unfortunately PP/NARAL will not do these every year but I'm hoping they'll put something together in time for the mid-term elections. If they do, I plan on volunteering my time in anyway possible to help out their cause. Sure, the anti-war message isn't very strong in their protest but if we're voting for pro-choice candidates we have a strong chance of also voting for anti-war candidates
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Lerkfish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:16 AM
Response to Original message
7. I think the point is NOT that its easy, but that its doable
and if people don't like ANSWER, they should bite the bullet and organize their own

In fact, I wish they would. I personally would like to see a massive protest EVERY weekend until chimpboy is impeached or we are out of Iraq, or both.

so, for that reason, i think (my opinion) even if there are valid or not criticisms of ANSWER, the fact that there are criticisms at all points to the necessity of different and MORE protests being organized.
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bowens43 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:33 AM
Response to Original message
9. So you'll be organizing the next one?
Let me know what I can do to help.
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Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:40 AM
Response to Original message
10. It's not about capability...it's about willingness...
...and you proved this point with:

"It's football season. I'm not giving up my weekends."
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:41 AM
Response to Original message
11. i dont want to do it tomorrow or snow..... so pick a date. spring
new life. 6 months from now. pick a date. then we go from there.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 09:29 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. i have always wanted to do washington in spring with the cherry
blooms.
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AlphaCat Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 09:08 AM
Response to Original message
12. I'll be looking forward...
...to someone besides ANSWER organizing a rally that big. I think it would be wonderful!
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Scout Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 09:27 AM
Response to Original message
13. Pro-choice march in '91 or '92 had largest crowd ....
ever, if I remember correctly.

Seems to me that in addition to the groups you mentioned, NOW and the Feminist Majority and NARAL and other pro-choice groups organized and help a very successful and well attended march.

ANSWER isn't the only group that organize a huge protest.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 09:38 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. i am thinking there was one i just loved prochoice, with whoopi
also there was another really good one in ny,.....bush first term. absolutely we dont need answer to org
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RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
16. Farrakhan also organized the upcoming Millions More Movement
It's the ten-year anniversary of the Million Man March. It's scheduled for Oct. 15, 2005. They're expecting at least a million people.

I imagine after Katrina, this one is going to be much more focused, something the last one was criticized for not being.

http://www.millionsmoremovement.com /

If nobody else wants to organize another antiwar protest, I hope ANSWER organizes another one because I will be sure to attend -- not that I am involved with that organization.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. The last one was focussed until Farakhan himself started talking
Then, it just became weird.
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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 10:41 AM
Response to Original message
18. I think you are missing the point about what is difficult ...
Edited on Thu Sep-29-05 10:41 AM by HamdenRice
It really is almost impossible for someone to just decide to "throw" a demonstration without an organizational context. It is difficult, but not impossible to negotiate permits and hire sound equipment and scaffolding and a stage.

What Answer and Farrakan have in common is a national organization that is pre-existing and in place. Farrakan may seem crazy to you, but he has mosques in every major city of the United States. Answer may be offputting, but they have at least a few members in every major metropolitan area. The same is true of NARAL, etc.

You could pay someone an exhorbitant amount to do some of the work if such a service sprang up, but the National of Islam, for example has hundreds if not thousands of men and women who will do things for free when asked by their organization.



One thing I find truly depressing about the way progressives think about politics today is an almost complete and total lack of emphasis on permanent organization. It's as though political participation has been reduced to spectacle (demonstrations) and voting. That's it.

If you want a non-Answer demonstration with 300,000 people, rather than focus on the demonstration, you should focus on creating an anti-war membership organization, perhaps first in your home town, then the next town, then by sending organizers to other towns and cities.

Maybe in five years you will be able to have that big demonstration. At that point, it won't just be a spectacle played out for the news media, but a manifestation to politicians, who depend on voting blocks and contributions, of the number of people you can deploy not just in the streets, but for more mundane, day to day political activity.
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tokenlib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 10:50 AM
Response to Original message
19. It isn't the rally and march itself..in my view...
You need the local outposts all over the country that can get the word out, organize buses to get the masses in... It is numbers that gets the attention. But it is the local outreach in communities that makes the event a success.
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LSK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 10:51 AM
Response to Original message
20. theres a thread in the activism forum
I think the 1st step is to find a date. Then contact a few small groups and get them to agree on that date.
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