Action planning

Planning an action

Sometimes the actions are a one-time thing, perhaps a contribution in another campaign or as an event that speaks for itself.
Other times, your action is part of a broader campaign strategy, where each action contributes an important step toward the overall campaign goal.
The following checklist is something to keep in mind as you plan your campaign.

Before the action

  • What is the analysis of the situation?
  • What structure will the group use?
  • Who will make the decisions and how?
  • What is the strategic goal (i.e., who will we try to influence, and what do we want them to do)?
  • What is the political goal (what action are we taking)?
  • How does this action get our goals across before, during, and after the event?
  • How does the group define its approach to nonviolence (are there nonviolence guidelines or basic principles)?
  • What will the scenario be? (including location and time)
  • Who will do the overall coordination of the action?
  • When and how can you expect the action to end?
  • Does your group want to try to collaborate with other groups or contexts and networks? If so, who wants to make and keep the contacts?
  • Do you want to have a flyer and use it to explain publicly what you are doing? If so, who will prepare it?
  • What public relations will you do? Will you try to convince other people to join? If so, who will do it?
  • What kind of media relations will there be? Will you issue a press release before the action? Will there be press spokespersons during the action who will be the contact persons for the press? Will there be a press kit with important points about the action? Is there a need for a media committee?

The preparation of the activists

  • What possibilities do the activists have for preparation? Are orientation seminars possible?
  • Are there already reference groups? Nonviolent action trainings? Legal issues clarified?
  • Are activists able to make decisions about the course of action? How does it work? Is the group process clear to all?
  • Is it clear that many more activists are needed “behind the scenes” in addition to the activists in “direct action” to make an effective action?

Logistical planning

  • Are the logistics well planned in terms of time and place?
  • Have all materials been prepared, and is their distribution planned?

During the action

  • Is there a communication system between the different roles; roles such as liaison to the police, legal observer, press officer, medical team, legal team (EA), support from other people?
  • Who documents the action in footage and video?

Is the decision-making process clear?

After the action

  • If people were arrested, is there legal support and also support in prison?
  • Is there after action media work that disseminates information about the action – mainstream media and alternative media?
  • How does the group evaluate their action (group evaluation)?
  • Does the group plan to document their action (create a case study as a model for other actions)?
  • What are your next steps? Will this action lead to a campaign developing?
  • If the action was part of a campaign, how did the situation change?