Sustainable 9/11 activism

Over the years I have done lots of street activism and want to offer my thoughts on how to make 9/11 activism sustainable from a funding point of view. I will try to be relatively brief and to the point.

None of what I say below takes away from my respect for all the contributions that so many are making, each in their own unique way...

I think that all tabling should include:

* activists ;-)
* displays, banners, etc.
* collection of materials that are offered for free, for example:
- deception dollars
- matrix card
- building 7 card
* materials that bring in funds (DVDs for sure - books are heavier, so might require a car)

The trick is to have something to offer for free while having some things that bring in funds.

Deception dollars can be free, which is easy to manage since they cost less then a 5 cents when ordered in quantity. The 2 other handouts that I like - the matrix card and the building 7 card (both from cost about 10 cents each if ordered in quantity.

If you give someone all three flyers you are giving them about 25 cents worth of materials. People will generally understand if you tell them what the materials cost and will usually toss 25 cents or even 1 dollar in your fundraising jar. Donations for these materials are optional but most people will gladly help the cause. One of each is free, multiple copies should be matched with a donation.

In my opinion, DVDs should be offered up for a $1 donation. The line that I would use would go something like this ... "this is a DVD of (x, y or z). We ask for $1 to cover out costs or you can watch it on Google video for free. This will play on your DVD player and is better quality. If you want to support the filmmaker you can find his site here." (write it on the DVD sleeve). It is fairly easy for most people to part with a $1 in exchange for a DVD.

Besides sustainability, there is another reason why asking for donations for materials and dollars for DVDs is a good idea. It has to do with the influence that it has on the person who is donating ... they become more committed. A person who has paid for something is more likely to make use of it and more likely to take other actions that build on and are consistent with that action.

Would I sometimes give away 9/1 materials for free? Yes. I have given away 100s of DVDs and 1,000s of the deception dollars, matrix cards and building 7 cards. Would I help to give away DVDs as part of an anniversary event or a media promotion? Yes.

What I am talking about it day-to-day sustainability in street actions where you might be reaching large numbers of people and you do not have someone willing to donate $100s of dollars each day for materials.

On that topic, I have long thought that one of the best way to reach lots of people, that might be overlooked is to table close to large events that draw people that are likely to be receptive. In addition to anti war conferences, where 911 truth is often represented, this includes concerts, festivals, march for a cure for (xyz), marathons, street fairs, movies that have long lines and lectures by the Dali Lama and other spiritual figures. Anything that draw lots of people who are likely to be able to listen. I would stay away from football games and professional wrestling!

If there is nothing else going on, colleges are always filled with people who have time and energy. Still even with colleges there are times that the students are more available then others.

Basically I am saying that you table in coordination with what is going on in your town. Where are the big crowds that are receptive? Go there and move as much material as you can while keeping your checkbook balanced. By moving to the events you will also be reaching new audiences and neighborhoods.

Those are my thoughts. I am interested to hear what others thing.