What NOT to Do: At Protests

Profile photo of Rachelle-O

Posted September 21, 2010 by Rachelle Owen

Just when you thought our “What NOT To Do” series was over …

We know handing out stickers is cool and all, but sometimes you’ve just got to go stick it to a corporation that makes money off of exploiting animals by doing it the good ol’ fashion personal way—by holding a protest. You’ve got your permit if needed, signs, leaflets, and maybe even a bullhorn, but this can go from protest to disaster in a hot minute. How can you speak up for animals without looking like a crazy? We got ya.


  • Get all up on private property. Seriously. This is a no-no. Don’t go into a McDonald’s or try to sneak past Ringling security—ya know what we’re saying. Your job here is to get the word out, not get arrested. Remember: these companies want you to get the hell outta there (aka: be arrested or otherwise kicked out) so if you get sent away by the police, they win.
  • Yell at circus goers, McDonald’s patrons, etc. Yelling in someone’s face does NOTHING but makes you look like a lunatic. If the animals could speak, would they ask you to do that? Nope.
  • Chat on your cellphone during the protest (uh, focus much?)
  • Hold your sign crooked, upside down, etc.
  • Make a handmade sign that looks totally wack (please, look up words if you don’t know how to spell them, seriously, we won’t judge!)
  • Chit chat with everyone next to you while not paying any attention to what’s going on (again, you’re trying to seem like a force of solidarity with those around you and with the animals, not like you’re trying to hold a social hour)
  • Cover your face with your sign


  • Ask us for help!
  • Be professional (dress the part, and again, don’t yell at anyone)
  • Plan ahead (get a permit if necessary, find out exactly where private property lines are)
  • Smile
  • Spread out so it looks like there are more people at your protest than there really are
  • Pass this info on to every single person who attends your protest and make sure you keep everyone in line!

Easy? Easy.



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  • 1190 days ago

    Great advice! But how do I know where the property lines are if, for example, I want to protest a store inside a mall? Is that even aloud?

  • Amy

    1196 days ago

    I REALLY want to do a protest, but I only have one person to do it with me, and I know that’s not enough. What should I do? How do I get more people?

    • Profile photo of mcrkarol

      380 days ago

      Facebook. I organized a protest with 2 friends of mine. We made an event, and invited every animal-rights-related group, shelter, or organization of our city that we could find in Facebook. We gathered around 40 people.

  • 1265 days ago

    I so want to hold a protest! It actually sounds like fun! I’m a huge supporter of animal rights and I want to do as much as I can to speak out for those who can’t.

  • 1296 days ago

    thanks for the great advice! hope to protest when the weather gets better!

  • 1325 days ago

    Is any in or near Rockford,IL who would like to join any protest I organise?

  • 1331 days ago

    i’d really really love to do this! but none of my friends wanna do it with me :( urgg

  • 1424 days ago

    i am having a protest at mcdonalds and this is great so i dont look really stupied in frount of people

  • 1445 days ago

    Does anyone live in Orlando that would like to protest with me and my boyfriend?

  • 1464 days ago

    maybe soon we WILL boycott macdonalds :)

  • 1512 days ago

    I’m planning a protest against Mcdonalds right now actually,me and a few friends came up with the idea last night. DEFINATLY have to show them this, cause some of their ideas were so on the don’t list. good luck to everyone :)

  • 1522 days ago

    I want to do a protest at mcdonalds with a whole bunch of my friends but i really want to have a chicken suit with i sign on its neck saying something like LET ME LIVE or dont cook me alive! but the suits are to much 😕 any ideas let me know please

    • 1265 days ago

      you could try making your own costume. you could make a beak out of some folded paper and elastic. use yellow feather boas and wrap them around you, maybe. be creative and improvise. there’s probably several ways that you could collect bits and pieces to make a chicken costume. if you go to dollar stores to collect your materials then it will probably cost much less than the actual chicken suit. good luck :)

  • 1586 days ago

    Thankyou so much! Hoping to gather a mcdonalds protest with my veg friend soon.

  • 1701 days ago

    If you’re handing out leaflets, you want to say something short sweet and to the point to the person you’re handing it to. Make sure the other members in your team aren’t handing them out like concert flyers

  • 1704 days ago

    Awesome Advice! :)

  • 1705 days ago

    Great advice!

  • 1705 days ago

    Also, don’t be hypocritical unless that is a part of the protest (like, do go to an animal rights protest eating a burger or wearing a fur coat lol)

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