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reclaim the streets
<rts homepage 10 ways to organise your own action

1. Decide on a date. Give yourselves enough time. Not too much - a deadline is a great motivator - but enough to sort the practicals: materials, construction etc. You may need money.

2. Get together with some like-minded people. Possibly your friends. Work on a plan of action. Sort out different roles, jobs and time-scales. Imagine. What is possible?

3. Choose the location. Your street, the town centre, a busy road or roundabout, a motorway!. To let as many people as possible experience what their streets could be like, its good to be near the local community. You might be breaking 54 civil laws, so a separate meeting place is good: people like a mystery, bureaucrats don't.

4. Publicise! Word of mouth, leaflets, posters, e-mail, web, video, radio, carrier pigeon. Make sure everyone knows where and when to meet. Posters and paste go well on walls, billboards and telephone boxes. Leaflet shops, clubs, buses, bars, cafs, underground passengers - everyone, including your mum. Remember - if you feel comfortable in your alliance, it's not broad enough.

5. Sort out your sound. A party needs music - rave, plugged in, acoustic, yodelling - go for diversity and draw from your own urban cultures. Invite jugglers and poets, clowns and prophets, cooks and performers of all kinds. Ask campaign and community groups to come along and set up a stall, debates and work-shops in the middle of the road. They might prepare non-violent actions and events for the following week and publicise them during the day.

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6. How will you transform the space? Huge banners with a message of your choice, colourful murals, bouncy castle, a ton of sand and a paddling pool for the kids, carpets, armchairs. The materials and money from earlier may come in useful here, but creativity is far more important. Print up an explanation for this 'collective day- dream' to give to participants, angry car drivers and passers-by on the day.

7. For opening the Street - or rather stopping it being re-closed by the traffic - ribbons and scissors are not enough. A large scaffold tripod structure with a person suspended from the top is often used, as it would be dangerous for the police to bring that person down. Practice in your local park or large squat. Blocking the road by gently crashing two second-hand cars that can then be dismantled is nice. If the authorities are determined to stop it, you may need to synchronise the set-up of the tripods with the crashing of the cars and with the arrival of the participants to the secret location.

8. Rescue some young trees from the garden of your local 'shopping development' and have them ready for planting. You may need a pneumatic drill and safety goggles for the last bit.

9.Have a street party! Enjoy the clean air and colour full surroundings, the conversation and the community. Bring out the free food, dance, laugh and set off your imagination.

10. Get together with like-minded groups and plan the next one. Debate your dreams and learn from history the ways of achieving them. Encourage other groups in your city and beyond. Organise in your community, workplace, school and street.

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Short tactical note: The authorities may get irate. Invite their agents, friends and family to participate. They should want to help keep it a peaceful situation by behaving in a responsible, non-hierarchical way. All the participants should collaborate in this new freedom, aware of their responsibilities. Many street parties have ended after provocations and police violence, particularly in the UK. The situations havent achieved anything, except fragmenting the RTS groups and participants. Remember that in many countries its very difficult for a policeman or woman to hit someone dancing if there is a camera around. Watch the film for inspiration.

For more info: read, think, debate, experiment and contact RTS GROUPS WORLDWIDE.

Please post links with critical comments from your experiences, media articles on the events and links to related topics to:

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