Protesting — a beginners guide

Protesting is a subject close to my heart, so I thought I’d take some time to paraphrase a conversation I was having with a good friend of mine where we covered the general ins and outs and also created the ‘meta-protest’.

Despite being a fan of the old protest I’ve never been to one. And having considered this I’ve come up with a few questions that need answers before you get involved in a real (i.e. physical) protest.

Use the following as a check list if you’re even considering getting involved, even if you’re a seasoned campaigner you might just want to make sure something isn’t missing — remember it might save your life and/or pride*.

* — not an actual guarantee

John’s beginners guide to protesting

  1. Where you do get those placards from?
  2. Is there a shop? Do I need to make my own? What if I’m really bad a DIY? Or I don’t have any tools, or any placard making materials? Do I need to steal a “To Let” sign from someone’s garden? What if there’s been an economic downturn and there are none?

  3. Who comes up with the slogans / one liners?
  4. What if mine is crap? Or, even worse, someone else thought of it and got to the protest before me! What if I have poor spelling/grammar/grasp of language? What if I don’t have any paint but I do have a HB pencil?

  5. What guarantees are there about the protesting facilities?
  6. What if there are no bins to light fires in? Or greasy foods to eat? Or press coverage? What if it’s raining? Will there be adequate car parking facilities and toilets? (see meta-protests below)

  7. Chants
  8. What if I’m not sure what I want? Or when I want it? I don’t want to commit to something that, long term, was entirely the wrong solution!

Once all the questions above have been answered suitably then you may continue with your protest of choice.

From the above one final question may arise?

What if the protesting facilities at my chosen protest location are sub-standard?
You, my friend, are in luck. Thanks to a considerable cognitive effort between myself and my good friend Mark Frost, there is an answer!

The Meta-Protest
Yes, a protest about the lack of proper protesting facilities!

This very simple process will guide you through acquiring the tools required for a proper, orderly, protest. The key to the meta-protest is…


Yes, chants, because there are no other facilities. Chants are technically free as they’re only words, each chant demands the next protesting facility whilst making use of any protesting facilities already granted. Here’s some simple ones to get you started, use them in the order given, but feel free to adapt them to your needs.

  • What do we want?….Placards, When do we want them?….[insert date of next meta protest here]
  • What do we want?….Bonfires, When do we want them?….[insert date of next meta protest here]
  • note: If you’re already acquired the placards by this point, feel free to burn them re-use the previous chant.

  • What do we want?….adequate car parking facilities, When do we want them?….[insert date of next meta protest here]
  • What do we want?….adequate eating and toilet facilities, When do we want them?….[insert date of next meta protest here]

If you have gotten this far then you have succeeded in acquiring the facilities required for your true protest. If you have been shot and killed, perhaps you should have asked for kevlar vests first.

Enjoy meta-protesting!