Ruckus Updates

Action Support For Coalition Against Police Executions


National Day of Nonviolent Action

"Praying for Peace, Working for Justice"

(see event information here, and scroll down for the Action Kit and flyers to download)

Wednesday, January 14th

At 4pm in Oakland, Coalition Against Police Executions (CAPE) is asking folks to gather at Frank Ogawa Plaza in front of Oakland City Hall for a peaceful, prayerful, healing Rally. Our main message is "Please Don’t Shoot’. We need support on security, so show up at 3pm if you are down to be plugged into protecting the marchers! Learn more about the case, and keep up with action planning and ongoing efforts on the blog!

Details on Solidarity Actions:

Atlanta, GA (Jan 14, 1-6pm)

There will be multiple events at Woodruff Park and Five Points MARTA Stations. From 1-6pm, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) Atlanta Chapter will be a issuing a statement, mobilizing at local transit spots, getting folks to call in or fax in solidarity and flyering during rush hour on MARTA. MXGM contact person is Saki,

In addition, from 3pm-5pm there will be ‘Ongoing Outreach for Justice Against Police State Violence’ on the Peachtree side of Five Points Station. From 5pm-7pm, meet at Woodruff Park, on the corner of Peachtree and Edgewood, closest to Five Points MARTA Station for: From Oakland to Palestine, It’s Resistance Time! People’s Speakout Against State Violence with music, speakers (that’s you!) and general agitation. Contact:

Boston, MA (Jan 14, 6-8pm)

This event will take place at the Boston Center for Community and Justice, 5 Broad St., Suite 4. There will be a viewing of the video, discussion, poetry. Contact Maanav Thakore, phone: 617.838.9256, email: maanav@gmail

Chicago, IL (Jan. 14, 4 p.m.)

This event will be held at South West Youth Collaborative at 4:00pm, SWYC, 6400 S Kedzie Ave, Chicago. Viewing of the Oscar Grant video, follow up discussion on the state of humanity and the importance of Nonviolence training, texting and emailing the video to all of our friends and family members and make this the peoples problem. Chicago Howard Alumni association and the Fraternity members to all wear black in support of the National day of Solidarity to heal the community and create nonviolent solutions for the future. All Day Event. Contact Person: Jimmy Prude 202.641.1101

Columbus, OH (Jan. 14, 8:30 p.m.)

Meet at New Harvest Cafe & Urban Arts 1675 Arlington Avenue, Columbus (Linden). "Poetic Moment" Poetry Expression and view the Oscar Grant video viewing with a follow-up discussion, texting and emailing the video to all of our friends and family members and make this the peoples problem. Contact Person: Haatim 614.260.7150

Durham, N.C. (Thursday, Jan 15, 4:30-5:30pm)

Meet at Durham City Police Department (on Chapel Street) for a 1 hour demo. Contact Theresa El-Amin 919.824.0659

Erie, PA (Jan 14)

Meet at Greater Bethlehem Temple Church 4103 Washington Ave, Erie, PA 16509. Several local churches are providing space to view the video and discuss the responsibility of Christians in a time like this and a moment of prayer for the world and the Grant family. The discussion will take place during their bible study. Contact Person: Curtis Jones 814.881.6071

Howard University, D.C. (Jan 14, All Day)

At Howard University 2400 Sixth Street, NW Washington, D.C. 20059. Howard undergraduates and alumni to show solidarity and to challenge all HBCU’s to participate in the National moment of healing. Current students are calling all Howard students and alumni to wear black on Wednesday. Contact Person: Peter Carr 909.239.5722

Knoxville TN, (Jan 14, 4 PM)

Meet at 504 Market St., Knoxville TN, 37902 – Krutch Park for an Oscar Grant candlelight vigil, rally, and press conference. Contact person: Elandria Williams 865.973.1896

Los Angeles, CA (Jan 14, 7-9pm)

Meet in Leimert Park for a peaceful candelight vigil, organized by the Jordan Rustin Coalition (JRC). Contact Vincent at

Milwaukee WI (Jan 14, 7pm)

Meet at Brewing Grounds For Change Coffee House and Community Organizing Center, 2008 N. Farwell Avenue Milwaukee, WI 53202 at 7pm. Milwaukee Oscar Grant Solidarity Event – Stop the Police Killings from Milwaukee to Oakland to Gaza – Hold Racist Cops and Zionist States accountable! We demand an immediate end to police brutality and the murder of our people! The event will be a skills building, direct action teach-in focused on ways to eradicate police violence and create effective structures of police accountability, which are necessary first steps to keeping our neighborhoods and families safe.  Sponsored by the Milwaukee Police Accountability Coalition.Contact: Matt Nelson,, (414)273-9777.

Also, Address/Time TBA: Watch the video and conduct a discussion on the issue and how to support the national movement to heal and address the Police Brutality + child incarceration. League of Young Voters and the Campaign Against Violence. Contact Person: C.J. 678.357.7265

Oakland, CA (Jan 14, 4pm)

Meet at Frank Ogawa Plaza at 14th and Broadway. We will have a rally and march with performances, speeches, solidarity actions. Show up at 3pm to support on security.

Pittsburgh, PA (Jan 14, 8pm)

Meet at Muhammad Mosque No. 22 1001 S. Ave. Wilkinsburg PA 15221 for a community discussion at the Mosque. Watch the video and conduct a discussion on the issue and how to support the national movement. Hosted by 1HOOD and the Mosque No. 22. The program will begin at 8:00 p.m. Contact Person: Jasiri X 412.580.1577

Providence, RI (Jan 14, Time TBA)

Meet at 61 Sharron Ave. Pawtucket, 02861. Viewing of the video and a discussion. Discussing the importance of nonviolent direct action and the need for training. Contact person: Tim Barlow 401.230.2750

Santa Cruz, C.A. (Jan 14, 5:30 p.m.)

500 Harkins Slough Road Watsonville, Ca 95076. Pajaro Valley High School Girls Basketball Team will be hosting a Teach In with Guest Speakers on Violence Prevention on Wednesday, January 14th, 2009 beginning at 5:30 p.m. in Room G123. Watch the video and to discuss issues and positive solutions.
Contact Person
: Carmen Perez 805.760.4399

Tallahassee, FL (Jan 14, Time TBA)

Address: TBA. Watch the video and conduct a discussion on the issue and how to support the national movement to heal and address the Police Brutality child incarceration. League of Young Voters and the Campaign Against Violence. Contact Person: C.J. 678.357.7265

We will continue to post details on each city here. If you are doing an action anywhere in the country, please email the details of where and when to adrienne @ so we can post them here. We’ll update this page with confirmed actions. 


Please stand in solidarity with Oakland residents on Wednesday, January 14th at 4pm by having rallies, marches and actions in your city!

We will post flyers, talking points and other action support info here as it is developed.

Below is an action kit with tips and checklists if you need help planning your action. Please document your actions with photographs and videos, and we will post those on the CAPE blog!


1) What is Nonviolent Direct Action? (SEE BELOW)

2) Checklist for Strategic Action Planning (SEE BELOW)

3) Ruckus Direct Action Planning Manual(CLICK LINK TO DOWNLOAD)

4)  198 Methods of Nonviolent Direct Action (CLICK LINK TO DOWNLOAD)

5) Ruckus Creative Visuals Manual (CLICK LINK TO DOWNLOAD)

6) Basic Legal Info (To print and pass out to action participants – click link to view) and other important legal information from MIDNIGHT SPECIAL LAW COLLECTIVE. Update – National Lawyers Guild will be providing legal support on Wednesday. 




DIRECT ACTION:  The strategic use of immediately effective acts to achieve a social or political end and challenge an unjust power dynamic.

CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE: Refusal to obey civil laws in an effort to change an unjust governmental policy or legislation. 



1. Clarify the Strategy: What do you want to call attention to with this action? How does this support your campaign goals? 

2. Know the History: What has your group (or other groups) done before to address the issue?  How can you build on the history to escalate your tactics?  

3. Identify the Opportunity:  Why now? What is the Action Opportunity? Is there a new development on your issue or change in the political climate that you can take advantage of? 

4. Find Allies:  Who are your existing allies in this work?  Who should be involved? Who is also impacted by this issue?

5. Pick a Target: Who is the decision-maker?  Who can help you pressure that decision-maker?  

6. Develop Action Demands:  What do you want from your target? What would a “win” look like? Make sure these are realistic, measurable, strategic, and accountable to the impacted community.

7. Assess Your Resources: What skills does your group have?  How many people will participate?  How much money and supplies do you have access to?

8. Choose a Tactic: Make sure it will move you towards achieving your campaign goal and action demands. What exactly will people do?  Why will it put pressure on your target?  Why is it perfect for this moment?

9. Determine Your Audience:  Who specifically do you want to mobilize with your action?  Is it the public?  Consumers? Shareholders?  Government Officials? 

10.  Decide the Tone: What will the action feel like?  Will the action be jubilant, angry, solemn, or calm?  How will the tone impact the target and audience?  Do you want to invite or repel them?  How will the tone impact your group?  

11.  Focus your Message:  How do you make complicated issues understandable? Keep it short and simple. The message should reflect the tone & clearly communicate your demands.

12.  Create Visuals and Audio: What will your action look and sound like?  What imagery do you need to create?  How will you amplify your voices and sound? How will the visuals and audio support your tone and convey your demands?

13.  Choose the Location: Where will this action take place?  What does that location look and feel like?  Is it a community-based location or is it the decision-maker’s territory?  Are people familiar with the location?

14.  Scout the Location: How will your action logistically take place at the location?  How will people get there?   What goes on there in the course of a day?  Is there security on site?

15.  Make an Action Plan: Think through the action from start to finish.  Assign action roles, make a time schedule, list supplies and equipment needed, finalize logistics.  Make backup plans just in case!

16.  Practice the Action: Over and over. Then practice some more.

17.  Perform the Action:  Be flexible, stay true to your action goals and demands, and be safe- eliminate unnecessary risk.  

18.  Celebrate! Acknowledge your successes, even if your action demands were not met.  Recognize new leadership, and congratulate new members.  

19.  Debrief the Action: What were the action highlights?  Where was there room for improvement?  

20. Follow up: Reach out to participants & members- keep them updated.  Make calls to media- get the story out.  Provide jail support if necessary, and keep track of ongoing legal issues.


Police Liaison can be a very critical role to the success of an action; particularly actions in which arrests are likely or planned, where there are more than one affinity group or a large number of people participating, or in which the action is “open” to spontaneous participation. Regardless, it is important to understand the role of police liaison. 

The police liaison acts as a “go between” the people participating in the action and the police to ensure clear communication of demands, expectations, needs, responses, etc. This person plays a critical role in minimizing reckless behavior on the part of the police and helping to de-escalate situations that are moving out of control (or strategically escalate when necessary). The police liaison helps our side maintain control of the action, on our terms, rather than letting the authorities dic
tate the terms of the action.

The police liaison is NOT a negotiator. The Police liaison is not usually empowered to “cut deals” or make compromises with the police. The most common trap that police liaisons fall into is becoming “deputized” in which they simply help the police execute their agenda, rather than helping facilitate smooth execution of the action objectives. 

A good police liaison will:
. Be Assertive, not aggressive, with the police. The first thing a police liaison must do is establish credibility and role clarity. Approach the highest ranking officer on the scene as soon as possible. Reach out your hand and introduce yourself, giving your full and proper name. For example, “Hello Captain, my
name is Jenny Doe, I am the police liaison for the group. I’m here to make sure we have smooth, and clear communication between police and the folks taking nonviolent action.” Get the officers name. Write it down. 
. Be clear that the role is to facilitate communication. Point out that the role is designed to make it easy to know whom to talk with if anything comes up. Be clear that you don’t make decisions for the group. Point out that random people might come up and try to get involved, but you were assigned the role, by the group, to make sure that things go smoothly.
. Stay close to the officers at all times, except when moving information between officers and people participating in the action. It can often be helpful to chat with officers to establish a sense of their expectations of the group. Be clear that you are not risking arrest and have no desire to get arrested. 
. Stay calm. If the police liaison is anxious or is expecting the worst, the police will be anxious and expect the worst. Also, by staying calm, you have room to escalate if the police behave badly.  
. Give the police the least amount of information necessary at any given time. The police will try to find out, “What the group is planning,” or “What’s next.” You can always say that you don’t know exactly what their plans are, but if there is anything that needs to be communicated you can relay the information.
. Force officers to follow chain of command. If the police liaison establishes a good relationship with the ranking officer, they can use that relationship to get restraint from other officers. By establishing a good relationship, you can
often maneuver for leeway- for example, helping support people stay close to people risking arrest.
. Stall for time. One important aspect of creating a communication bottle-neck between police and people participating in an action is that the police liaison can “buy the group time,” simply by going back and forth. The police liaison an explain to the officer, “I’ve let them know that you want them to leave in 15 minutes or you will arrest them. They are deciding how to respond. They just need a bit more time to make a decision. As soon as they do, I’ll let you know
what they say.” If you have a “chummy” relationship with the officer, you can go as far as to say, “We make decisions using consensus process, which, you might imagine, can take a little bit of time.” 

Sometimes it makes sense to meet with police before an action to introduce yourself and attempt to establish some clear protocols; (but not always) for example, “No riot squads hiding,” “No police dogs;” or to determine what their force strength will be, i.e. Will they have horses? What different forces will be deployed? What jail will people be taken to in the event of arrests? In these meetings, it is also important to assert that the actions are nonviolent and if
there are participation guidelines (i.e. no drugs, no weapons, etc.) that those are shared. Do not share too much information. They will want to know march routes, what actions people plan to take. All you need to say is what is already public and constantly reiterate that the actions will be nonviolent. Repeat the message.

Such meetings can be greatly helped by the presence of media either at the meeting or immediately after to announce any statements the police made about their intentions. This is a good way to hold the police accountable and get pre-media for your action. 

Of course, if the deployment of the action requires secrecy to be effective, do not alert the police in advance of the plans. 

Download Document: OscarGrant_large.pdf