Tuesday, March 06, 2007

From On High

Our office is on the 18th floor in downtown Austin. From my desk, I have a view of Congress Avenue and the Capitol. It's a great view, and distracts me more often than I'd like to admit. In the last week, we've noticed two highly organized protests proceed, with police escort, up Congress to the Capitol grounds. These sorts of things happen so often that one of our team members brought binoculars from home to enable better viewing of the goings on in the street.

The protest on Friday was pretty big, and seemed to have something to do with the Trans-Texas Corridor. It involved horse- and donkey-drawn carriages, of all things. I was disturbed that the animals didn't have little poop-bag-collectors. However, it appears that my concern was for naught -- at the end of the protest march line there was a giant street-washing machine. I had seen sweepers before, but this was like a carpet steamer and washed the street, too.

Today there was another protest march. This one was much smaller and we couldn't see the signs to see what they were protesting. However, they were all coordinated, wearing the same lime green shirts.

As a result of these viewings, I have learned a few things about organizing a protest march:

  • Make sure lots of people are there, and make sure they bring their animals.

  • Call the police, and get them to escort you so the inconvenienced drivers can't do anything to you.

  • Be sure to color-code your wardrobe with the others in your group. This also makes it hard for protesters to change their mind and try to slink away.

  • Make your signs two-sided, so that people all around you can see what your cause is. Maybe add a third side on top of your signs for people in buildings with binoculars.

  • List your event on the Texas Capitol Events page to further propagate your cause to the masses.

If you follow Heather's basic rules for protests in downtown Austin, there will be a group of people on an 18th floor that will appreciate it. We don't do a very good job trying to make up what you are protesting.


cat said...

next time i decide to protest in austin i will make sure i follow your guidelines. much appreciated. thanks for sharing. :P

Heather said...

Thanks -- that is much appreciated.