Postering, Tabling, and Propaganda Distribution
Why Table - Setting up a literature table at events is a lot of work; why should you put so much energy into this? Answers:
A. Tabling makes money
All of these benefits are essential for building your group, and making it strong. It is important, especially when you are not involved in a local organizing drive, to generate activity and be seen. And, if your group is not active, and you do not plan any events, your members will drift away.
Where to set up a table - All of the following events and locations are useful and beneficial to some degree. They are listed in decreasing order of likely success (based on observations made by experienced East Bay IWW members):
A. Big political events,
demonstrations, and marches;
It is best to start with no more than one event or tabling effort per month and build up your momentum. The least likely to succeed (in terms of raising money or general outreach) is establishing a table in front of a supermarket or a transportation center. Tabling at big political events, on the other hand, while not especially conducive to organizing, is nevertheless much more conducive to raising money for the group and letting active folks know of your group's existence.
Supplies you will need - In order to successfully table and accommodate your volunteers, you should obtain the following (lightweight, yet durable materials are the best)
A. Portable Tables
(if none are available, a tarp laid out on flat ground will work)
And, a durable hand truck with straps for transport is essential. These can usually be found for very little money (less than $50) second hand. But get one that is durable and will last. Airport luggage carts are flimsy and will fall apart due to wear and tear.
Free Literature - If your table is full of neat stuff for sale, you will be able to distribute a great deal of organizing literature for free, because folks who come to the table, whether to browse, buy, or ask questions, will inevitably accept any free information you provide. So, it is not a bad idea to produce some basic literature explaining what your group is working on and/or has accomplished. Petitions and Pledges of Solidarity are also useful to have. This is yet another benefit of setting up an table.
[From Steve Ongerth, East Bay IWW with modifications by the editor.]
Guidelines for Tabling (free literature and merchandise)
[Excerpted from "Guidelines for Tabling" http://www.ivu.org/vuna/guide/guidelinest.html with modifications by the editor.]
Other Ways to Distribute Free Literature
Coffeehouses: There are often vegetarian or eclectic cafés, coffeehouses or stores which are not corporate and cater to casual patrons who aren't rich people or trendy. Basically, they are places YOU would feel comfortable hanging out at with your friends. Some may be meeting places for activists. These are a good bet for leaving literature but, you should clear it with the people who run the place before leaving any literature. If they won't go for it, don't try to convince them. Just find another place where they will let you leave literature.
CARE Packages: Send CARE packages of literature to people who write for more info about your group or its politics or who express an interest in Anarchism in letters and e-mails pertaining to work your group is doing for Anarchist-related projects. It is a good idea to be networked with other Anarchists in your area so if people get information request letters, they can refer them to you so you can send the person a CARE package.
Other Collectives: Give your literature to other collectives and to friends whom you know will put your literature out. Some of them will also have THEIR OWN tabling projects. In this way, you can get more literature out than if your group were doing all the work themselves.
[Excerpted from "How To Do A Red and Black Book Project" by Scott, Insurgency Culture Collective http://www.radio4all.org/redblack/howto.html with modifications by the editor.
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