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Information Standards

This handbook is for all activists.You may use as many of the ideas as you see fit.Not all issues require the same tactics.It is up to you and your friends/associates to decide upon which actions will work for you.Our goal is to provide you with the basic tools to effect change in the world.However, please note that these are suggestions and tips only.You and your friends may think of other tools and tactics, which work better for you.




Organizing/Getting Started

Meeting/Event Space


Banner Making

Poster Making

Outreach Tools

Fundraising Ideas

 Organizing and Getting Started ††

So, you want to get involved.You have friends who feel passionate about shared issues and you want to do something.Well, having dedicated people is the first step to a successful activist adventure.However, if your friends arenít as passionate as you, you may need help forming a group.


        Forming A Group:This can be a matter of contacting your local friends and family and asking them to support your cause and get active!If this doesnít work, the second step would be to find people in your area that care about the same things you do.You can do this by: advertising your start-up idea around town, on campus, at temple/mosque/church/spiritual center, in libraries, or public kiosks/bulletin boards.Create a one-page flier about your idea with contact information and wait for the flood of responses.Once you have a partner(s) to get started with you can move mountains.

        Official Business:If you plan to become a formal group with public recognition for your group in addition to your cause and/or plan to raise over $4000 a year, you will need to register your group with your stateís licensing department, get a tax-id number, and open a separate bank account for the group.For example, if in Washington State you can visit:The Washington department of Licensing at https://wws2.wa.gov/dol/mls/wali/.It will walk you through the process of registering your non-profit with the state and what the state requires of you.For a federal tax-id number, visit: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fss4.pdf.This site is the form you will need to fill out and submit to get your tax-id number for opening and maintaining accounts.




Meeting and Event Planning

There are many options available for conducting a meeting, work party, or special event for your group.Here are some ideas:


        MeetAt Someoneís Residence:You can meet at someoneís house, or, if you or an associate live in an apartment with a Cabana for meetings/parties, you can rent out the Cabana if appropriate.

        Students:Often times schools will allow students the use of classrooms and/or meeting space for extra-curricular activities.Speak to your teacher(s) and/or other school officials to see how to/if you qualify for free meeting space.

        Community Centers:Most cities have community centers that rent out rooms to individuals and groups.The prices range depending on event.For example, visit http://www.seatac.wa.gov/park/rentals.htm.This site gives a list of costs for renting the different rooms they provide for public use.Rental costs can range from under $10 to over $300 depending on the plans for the activity and the size of room.

        Hotel/Motel Meeting Room Rentals:Many hotels and motels offer meeting space for rent.The process is pretty straight forward.For example, visit www.hilton.com and click on Groups and Meetings at the top of the page.This will take you to a form that will allow you to enter in your city/state information and give you a list of rooms that are available for meeting.Estimates for cost are only given by phone or appointment.††




Supplies can vary depending on your needs and desires.Look to the different options for creating and obtaining tools for your activities.Basic supplies for activism include:

        Energy, Focus, & Heart!

        Outreach Materials:This can be leaflets, handouts, promotional items, baked goods, and more!

* You can get leaflets and materials regarding your issue by making them yourself or by ordering ready made materials from a national organization that focuses on the same issues you do.For example, if you are into animal rights, you would visit www.peta.org and e-mail their information department to request literature for tabling or outreach.Many organizations will provide you with free materials if you ask.

        Place and Space:See meeting and event planning for details.



Banner Making and Use

What You Need

         8 yards of cheap medium weight lining material ($20-$35 or so)

         4 yards of fringe ($12)

         package of standard tracing paper for sewing patterns

         1 small jar each of white and black all-purpose water soluble fabric paint ($10)

         1 large jar each of red, yellow, and blue all-purpose water soluble fabric paint or ready-to-use colors, but cheaper to mix ($50)

         small bottle of anti-running agent for the water-soluble paint

         several drop cloths or old shower curtains ($10)

         a dozen or so small plastic containers or jars (e.g. recyclables)

         1" or so paint brush, and a few small water-color brushes ($5)

         package of glitter or sparkles ($3), and small hand-held vacuum or dustbuster to clean up excess

         scotch tape ($2)

         paper towels ($2)

         roll of masking tape ($2)

         14' of heavy rope or inexpensive 1/2" plumbing pipe ($6)

         access to computer with drawing program and PostScript printer or similar, lots of regular paper ($10)

         access to sewing machine, thread same color as lining material ($2)

How To Make It
Check scale of computer drawing program's printing capabilities in printing out at 400% or 800% current page size with tiling. The lining material folded lengthwise will be 4 yards (144 inches) long by standard lining material width, usually 36, 45, or 60 inches. So setup the page size for 1/4 of finished size (if printing at 400% scale) would be 36 inches wide by 15 inches tall based on a finished size of 144 inches long by 60 inches tall (measurement of lining material folded in half lengthwise). If setting up the page size for 1/8 of finished size (drawing program will print out at 800% scale), then 18" x 7.5" page size in the drawing program.

1.      Design banner with shapes, logos, letters, etc., in drawing program (e.g., Corel Draw, Freehand, Freelance, Canvas, etc.), print out at 25% size, proofread, fax, etc. When done, print out at actual finished size by tiling (split complex paths, create outlines, etc., as needed for misprints), printing just the outlines of the shapes of the designs, all shapes with just a point or two stroke outline. Arrange all tiled sheets of paper on the floor all at once, and adjust all as needed to fit together per original design, before scotch taping together. Tape together as accurately as possible with lots of tape.

2.      Tape drop cloths or shower curtains to the floor with masking tape with plenty of extra space for paints, etc. Unfold lining material, lay half of it on top of drop cloths and tape down firmly. Lay taped together tiled paper design centered on top and tape down. Insert sheets of the tracing paper for sewing patterns under the paper and trace the outlines of the designs onto the lining material with a pencil or ball point pen.

3.      Mix colors to match spot colors of design in containers. Adding a tiny bit of white a little at a time to lighten a mixed color, or a very tiny bit of black a little at a time to darken. And a squirt of the anti-running agent and a little water to thin (e.g., 1 part water to 4 parts paint per manufacturer's recommendations).

4.      Since painting the design seems to be the easiest yet most time-consuming part, it works well with people to help IMHO. Painting the inside edges of shapes first, then filling in the middle seems to help define them. Inexpensive fabric paint does not flow well for tiny intricate designs or thin black outlines around shapes of letters or designs, or thin strokes in general, even with extra anti-running agent mixed in. Sprinkle glitter on shapes to emphasize with sparkling, as soon as a shape is painted, cleaning up excess with vacuum.

5.      When dry per paint jar instructions, fold in half, pin on the fringe to the bottom, and sew up like a top-stitched pillow case (right-side-out) leaving gaps in the stitching for the rope or plumbing pipe to be inserted through the top for support. And stitch another seam across the top (down from the top edge) with more than enough room for the rope or pipe to go through.

6.      Drawing the wind-holes last seems to help in that they won't accidentally get painted or interfere with design problems; besides sewing them when the fabric is already folded. The best areas are on the background where nothing is painted and more or less one towards the center in from each corner or so. Draw around the lower half of a small plate or saucer with a pencil, then neatly pin that area to the underneath layer, then sew completely around 1/4" or so from the edge of the penciled half-circles, and slit them on the pencil lines, for the wind to go through. Insert the rope or pipe through the top for support, and knot or cover the ends.

Note: Of course the flaps have to hang straight down so they won't show a hole when the wind's not blowing!


Poster and Sign-Making and Use

Making posters and signs for demonstrations is fun and easy.You can attach a poster regarding your issue to a piece of cardboard and rap the entire thing in clear plastic.Then, attach the cardboard poster to a yard-stick sized piece of wood.Now, go protest!



Outreach Tools

There are so many different tools and ideas for outreach. You can leaflet with fliers you make or get from another activist group.You can table.Tabling consists of setting up a table with literature and information regarding your issue(s) and inviting the public to learn a bit from what you have to offer.Tabling can be done many places by simply asking permission.Ask your local co-op, school, or community center about fairs, events, or scheduling a time to educate the public!


Fundraising Ideas

Fundraising is all up to you and your creativity.Here are a few ideas to get you started:


         Used Book Sale


         Benefit Concerts (donít scoff, a few bands have contacted us w/o provocation to offer the service)

         Dances or Parties

         Donation Jar Out At Every Event

         Create a cookbook with your friends of favorite recipes and sell them

         Any ideas?





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