How to Organize Your Own Protest

Are you a compassionate person age 13 to 24 who hopes to reach more people with an animal rights message? Join our collective of students taking action for animals, Students Opposing Speciesism (SOS), and we’ll help you take your activism to the streets by holding a good old-fashioned protest! Protests are a fun and effective way to get animal rights at the forefront of people’s minds by exposing how animals are abused and killed for experimentation, food, clothing, and entertainment. Here are some tips: 

The Planning Stage 

Before you get started, check out the SOS website to see if there are events in your area that you can participate in. Still want to lead your own protest? No problem! Contact us at [email protected] so we can help you plan your event. Please let us know the preferred date, time, and location of your protest so we can begin working together and get you the supplies you need. Keep in mind that we need at least two weeks’ notice in order to hook you up with free posters and leaflets. 

The best time for a demonstration is when there’s heavy foot traffic—think lunch or dinnertime. Typically, protests last about an hour. Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. are good, since that’s when many people are out and about—it’s the freakin’ weekend!

Most sidewalks in public areas are fair game, but some cities require that you obtain a permit. Call your local police department and ask if you need one to organize a peaceful demonstration. We promise that this call won’t be as scary as it may sound. 

The more folks who attend, the better—so invite others to join by promoting the protest on Instagram, Discord, and other social media platforms. Follow SOS on Instagram (@petaxsos) in order to see other students in action and stay up to date on animal rights campaigns. 

Shortly Before the Demo 

Be sure to arrive at least 15 minutes before the event. Dress to impress by wearing your favorite animal rights shirt and other clean clothes, and don’t hide your face at the demo—keep those sunglasses off! Read up on the issue you’ll be protesting ahead of time so you have three facts ready to share.  

During the Demo 

Make sure people in your group are holding their signs so they can be read easily (and aren’t hiding their faces), and ask protesters to refrain from talking on the phone or texting. Have the majority of your group hold signs and wave at cars, but also have some people hand out leaflets to passersby. Make sure at least one person is assigned to take photos and videos during the demo so you can show off your hard work and spread your message further on social media. 

Interacting With People (Keep Your Cool) 

Remember to smile and be polite. You’ll change more people’s minds by being respectful and engaging in conversation than by yelling at or intimidating them. If police officers show up, calmly tell them that you have a permit or explain that you were told by the department that you didn’t need one when you called. 

After the Demo 

Remember to collect all your materials so there isn’t litter left lying around, get everyone’s contact information so you can send them photos from the demo and let them know about future events—and then thank everyone for attending your demonstration. Post your photos and videos on Instagram and tag @peta2 or @petaxsos so we can share your activism and amplify your voice! If there are any vegan restaurants or food trucks nearby, ask if anyone wants to grab a bite to eat afterward to reward yourselves for speaking up for animals. 

Organize a Protest = Earn peta2 Points!  

If you organized a protest for animals within the last month, we want to hear all about it and reward you for making a difference. Tell us how your protest went using the form below and you may earn 150 peta2 points for your peta2 Rewards account that you can redeem for exclusive merch!

Text peta2 to 30933 for ways to help animals, tips on compassionate living, and more!

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