For our marches and demonstrations to be successful in gaining a large crowd of eager supporters and media attention, we need to make sure we are organizing effectively. Here are some vital steps to take in order to plan a great march for healthcare.
- Organizing committee - Discuss the aims, talking points, sponsors, route, schedule, and division of labor.
- Choose a date - Demonstrations must be on a weekend.
- March route and/or rally venue
- Permit - Check to see if you need permits for the demonstration; you will need to liaise with the police and local authorities
- Sponsors - Organizations and individuals whose names carry weight and numbers. Here you want to see if you can get sympathetic unions, mass organizations (organizations of activists working on the issue); this usually means that they will ask to speak at the demonstration. Sponsors are incredibly important as they set the legitimacy of the demonstration, will get their members out and hopefully provide some funds.
- Speakers - Representatives of sponsoring organizations, subject matter experts who are respected and carry weight. You also may want to consider people who have had bad experiences with the health insurance system to talk about their experiences.
- Fundraising - Money to cover logistics, permits, and other expenses. Some of this can be obtained from sponsors; you also may want to make an investment and produce some t-shirts, buttons, and bumper stickers.
- Logistics - Toilets at different points in the route, and first-aid facilities again at different points in the route. Provisions of placards can be provided by sponsors but people also like to print their own. Megaphones to provide to people to shout out chants that you have developed to keeps morale up at the demo and keeps things going.
- Security - Sponsors can help, but this needs to be seriously organized and it has to be tight, identified openly at the demonstration, they will also need to liaise with the police. This requires serious organization and should be done by those who have experience; you want to protect demonstrators and keep the march moving, but you also want to avoid scuffles with inevitable opponents.