Checklist Ad Hoc Campaigning

This list is one of the results of the workshop Ad Hoc Campaigning at the Conference East Meets West at 18-20 october in St Petersburg, Russia. Ad Hoc campaigning differs from a normal campaign because of the short-term focus you have and the immediate result you want to establish.

It is not an overall list, which is quite impossible regarding the differences in campaigning among groups, but also the different situations in various countries. But you could find some things which you can use in your ad hoc campaigning. Some might look obvious, some don't. Good luck! And never hesitate to contact people far away, you'll never know what contacts come in handy!


1) Ad Hoc campaign 'Destroy Voorpost' by Anti-Fascist Action in The Netherlands.
2) Ad Hoc campaign against extradiction of Basque political prisoner in The Netherlands.
3) Checklist, with short explanation

1) After the 1998 elections the right-wing parties were wiped out of parliament en local councils. Some big shots of the far right sat together, and tried, with some guidance of Filip DeWinter of Vlaams Blok in Belgium, to establish a outer-political fascist movement, based on the ideas of the new-right. The talks really boosted the organisation Voorpost, existing since 1978 in The Netherlands, but taken over by some activists and ideologists from the banned fascist CP'86. Voorpost organised every month meetings, commemorations, actions and lectures, aiming at educating fascists and focussing on dutch history and culture. Voorpost went into the so-called 'meta-politics', trying to manipulate and influence people with slogans. Voorpost wanted to be the umbrella for al fascists, whatever party they were active in. Anti-Fascist Action (AFA) decided to launch an ad hoc campaign, on both the information level, as well the cultural level. AFA organised a tour with the slogan 'Destroy Voorpost' with a folk-band, at one hand to mobilise people for an action against Voorpost, on the other hand we showed a video and spread information in the local press about the (quiete unknown) organisation Voorpost. We started with this tour one month before we knew Voorpost wanted to have a (secret) international fascist summercamp in the Netherlands, which would be a huge victory for them if they managed to put it through. To pin the fascists down at their houses we announced demonstrations there, at the date of the summercamp, so we could have an action anyway in case we couldn't find the summercamp. This really caused panic at their ranks, police and fascists were protecting houses all around the country. At the end, AFA found the summercamp after travelling through half the country with 300 activists, the fascists from Voorpost had to flee the camp and never recovered from this blow, at least not uptill now.

2) In januari 1999 Esteban Murillo, a Basque union-man, was arrested at Schiphol airport and detained in Haarlem. Spain immediately asked for his extradiction, as suspected member of ETA. We (a group of four people) arranged a lawyer, started court-cases against this extradiction and asked for asylum as a political refugee. We set up a petition to spread information, gain support and put pressure on the government. We managed to get questions at parliament four times, talked to the department of justice twice, set up an information tour through Holland with two former Basque prisoners to talk about the conflict and the prisoners-struggle and staged at least 50 demonstration at the prison during the 1,5 years Esteban was in there. Sometimes we only did it with four people, but dressed in white overalls, white masks and drums we caused a lot of disturbance. We also set up a solidarity-hungerstrike with Esteban, in the diplomatic and governmental city of the Hague. We pu down two big tents together with 10 people from the Basque country and did a lot of actions, like occupying an island opposite to the dutch parliament. We occupied the Spanish consulate and opened a Basque consulate, we occupied the Spanish embassy twice, the ministry of justice once, held a big demonstration in the Hague and blocked the prison of Esteban. Two days later he was extradicted under heavy safety-rules. Today we filed a law-suit against the dutch state to prevent Esteban for further prosecution by Spain. Esteban is still in prison in Madrid and didn't have any process uptill now. Well, this is, I think, an example of determination. Think about you're demonstration, not about the amount of people!

3) Checklist:
Information. Gather as much as possible about the topic you're gonna Ad Hoc about. Make sure this information gathering continues as you're campaigning already. Office. Obtain a working space somewhere, where people can work, reach you and have meetings. Slogan and logo. A catchy slogan which people can remember. A logo to accompany your press-statements. Telephone list. Make as quickly as possible a telephone list of people you can call for help. Make sub-groups when the campaign is too big. Lawyer. Always handy to contact a lawyer, for advice, but also to ask for being present or at reach at the time of an action. Press-list. Make one as big as possible, also for regional contacts. Make sure to write down your good press-contacts, you can always use them. Sometimes it's good to inform the press of every step you take in your campaign, the chance is bigger that the press will catch the subject. A press-group at the time of action is neccesary. Money. Try to obtain money from the city-council, local funds, bars or from selling stuff (f.e. a solidarity-music tape) at concerts. Poster/leaflets/stickers. Open a web-site and a mailing-list. Big meeting. A informational meeting for everybody you want to particpate or mobilise, not only the people who work on the campaign. Possibly you'll hear new ideas. Try to gain (verbal) support from political parties or big organisations concerning the subject. Start (international) fax or e-mail campaigns to protest. Postcard-campaign. Petition. Make one and get people to sign it (with telephone-numbers). In this way you mobilise and spread information. Make sure the people who sign it can keep the information and that you sent them updates. Information tour, if possible with bands and a video, to obtain some money also. Try to connect your actions to important days (f.e. international day of human rights 9-12, anti-war day 1-9, international women's day 8-3, international women's day for disarmement 25-4, international day for army-objecters 15-5, international day against violence against women 19-5, worl environmental day 6-6, world-food-day 16-10, world vegan-day 1-11, action day against violence against women 15-11, day against colonisation 12-10, and of course the anti-racism and anti-fascism days 21-3, 16-6, 9-11) Spray-paint or graffiti your slogan or announcement of action where-ever. Make a T-shirt, patches with you're logo or slogan. Try to look for big public meetings, or movies connected to your topic, to break in and spread information. Form a group who can deal with the police. Always ask for permission for your demonstration, so you have something official when other actions go wrong. At the day of action it's good to have a group negotiating with the police. Think of a group who can talk to f.e the owner of a building where fascists are gathering or the boss of the company where you're protesting. Make sure they bring information-maps (also for press-group) etc. Train the several groups who will be active on an action-day. The press-group, the police-group, the 'owner'-group. Talk about different situations, ask difficult questions. In fact, with training, everybody can do this, which is good. Form a protection group. For a demonstration against fascists this is absolutely necessary. A group who can react in a tactical way an protect the others. Hire a small van with a sound-system. Coordination-point at the day of action. Here is all the information, and it all comes together. From there you can sent updates to the press. Make a small communication network for the organisation of the action with porto's or handy's and make sure the communication to the demonstrators is good (f.e. with a loudspeaker). A redirection point. If an action goes wrong and f.e. the police is chasing everybody, it's good to have a place where you can go with everybody. Always take your own cameraman and photographer to an action. You can always sent pictures to the media afterwards. Make sure you make a report of your action for the mainstream media, as well for the alternative media. Sent letters to the press if you think they didn't quiet catch your message. It's good to sell food and drinks at your action. You can also make some money with it. Bring music and drums at your action. Prisonhelp. Form a group who writes a leaflet for the demonstrators, with their rights when arrested. Make sure if people are in being put in prison, they gain support from the campaign.

Anti-Fascist Action, Utrecht, The Netherlands