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No War With Iran Protest Host Guide

No War With Iran Protest Host Guide




Members of Congress are home for their August recess, and this will be the last chance we have to speak to them directly before they vote on whether to block the Iran deal. The protest you are hosting will demonstrate the community support for No War With Iran. The goal of your local action is to earn media attention and hopefully get a direct response from your member of Congress.

    • An effective event can take many forms. It can be as basic as several folks standing outside of their representative’s office, holding signs to show where they, as constituents, stand on an issue. Or it can be a petition delivery with a program of speakers and partner organizations. And it can be anything in between. It depends on your capacity and what kind of impact you want to make.
    • Take photos and share them on social media right away using #NoWarWithIran.
    • Tailor your action to your member of Congress. If they’re undecided on the Iran deal, ask them to support it and show them why they should. If they’re supporting diplomacy, thank them. This helps bolster their support. If they oppose diplomacy, you can hold them accountable and let them know about your disappointment.  

Listen to a recording of the host prep call.

Before Your Event


  1. Choose a location, date, and time.

Your action is targeting a member of Congress, so it makes the most sense to hold your action outside of his or her office during work hours, when it will get the attention of your representative and her/his staff. If your city has a central town square, this can also be a great location. When choosing a location, consider direct pressure on your target, accessibility, parking, and visibility—to the public and the media.

Actions are often held during business hours (starting no earlier than 8:30 a.m. and no later than 4:30 p.m.), when we have the best chance of getting the attention of media and Congress. Lunchtime is often the best time during the business day to turn out the most people—and it’s a convenient time for reporters.

It’s a good idea to call your member of Congress’s office as soon as you’ve determined the date and time of your event. It’s great to ask if you can meet with them before or after the event.

  1. Line up speakers and partner organizations.
    Some protests will be larger and, if possible, lining up speakers for them can amplify your message and help earn media attention. Collaborating with other local groups will help with attendance.

Here are a few examples of speakers it may make sense to invite:

  • Veterans have a unique role and stature in the No War With Iran movement because of their service to our country.
  • Everyday folks with compelling personal stories related to the issue: For example, invite people to speak who remember the mistakes we made in the 2003 vote that sent us into Iraq.
  • Community leaders
  • Clergy: Many faith leaders traditionally support peace, and faith leaders can hold a lot of sway in the community and with elected officials.
  • Local and state elected officials: Mayors, state representatives, state senators, city council members, and others in the area. (Note: In an election year, do not invite anyone who is running for public office.)

It’s very important that you prepare your speakers well. Make sure to have a prep call or meeting with everyone who is speaking at your action. Click here for talking points.

  • Plan logistics.

Do you need a sound system? If you’re in a large city where you’ve had large crowds in the past, you should arrange to have at least a basic sound system, which may require equipment rentals and appropriate permits for amplified sound.

Do you need a permit for your event? In most communities, you don’t need a permit to stand on public property—including public sidewalks. But depending on the location of your event, you may want to check with local authorities ahead of time. Many Senate offices are in federal buildings that do require permits. If you’re unsure, just check with local authorities. Also, if you have a sound system, you are more likely to need to arrange a permit. If you run into any questions or problems, email help@moveon.org.

What roles need to be filled? This depends on the size and details of your event, but here are some roles to consider planning for:

  • Reminder call coordinator: Calling members who have signed up and left a phone number can be a task for one person who would like to help.
  • Greeter: As the action host, you’ll have a lot to attend to, so it’s good to designate someone specifically to attend to the people who come to your event, greeting them as they arrive, talking with them, making them feel welcome, and signing them in. (Click here for a sign-in sheet.) This is a really important role for getting new folks interested in the campaign and taking future actions.
  • Emcee: This person starts and concludes the action, introduces speakers, and keeps the program on time. Think of this person as the master of ceremonies.
  • Cheerleader: This person leads chants and cheers at the action.
  • Visuals and sign coordinator: This person is in charge of coordinating a group of folks who will make or print signs and other visuals for the event.
  • Media coordinator: This person will wrangle the media and connect any speakers with media.
  • Photographer and live-tweeter: This person takes group photos and action photos and shares them using #NoWarWithIran.
  1. Prepare the materials you’ll need.

**Your petition signatures are available to download now on your host tools page.**

You’ll also receive an email with the petition signatures for your district on Monday, August 24. You’ll also want to make or print signs to hold at your event. Other materials you may want to have on hand include:

  1. Recruit people to your event.

Hit the phones: The most tried-and-true way we know to get people out to events is to pick up the phone and call them. Reaching out to your family and friends and asking them is better than any email for recruitment.

Emails: You can also invite people via email from your host tools page. Make sure you at least invite everyone you know who shares your values to No War With Iran! Here’s how:

  • To send the invite email, log in to your host tools page. From there, you can easily send invitations using the “Invite Others” tool. (This will automatically add the details of your event and a link for RSVPing.)
  • The personalized link to your host tools page is included in the confirmation email you receive when you post your event online.
  1. Contact the media.

It’s really important to get the media to cover your event—news coverage educates other constituents on the issue and puts additional pressure on your target. Click here for our media guide.  

  1. Have a final prep call with your group.

Walk through the event from start to finish to make sure everything is ready and everyone is clear about their role. Anyone who is speaking or playing a role should be on the call. You can also discuss any breaking political updates related to the issue

  1. Make final preparations—including reminder calls.

In the last 24 hours before your event, make sure you’re ready! Reread this guide and review all your materials. Also, be sure to check in with any local organizational partners (if applicable) the day before the event to finalize any logistical items and talk through any questions.

Your registered guests should hear from you in the 24 hours leading up to the event. This is by far the best way to help ensure that people show up. You should give them a reminder call. If they listed their phone numbers, that information will show up on your host tools page. You should also log in to your host tools page to send an email to everyone who RSVP’d, reminding them what time you are starting and how to get to the event location.

During Your Event


Arrive at least 20 minutes early. Typically, some folks will show up early, and you’ll want to be there to greet them.

Since this will be at a congressional office, the first thing you should do when you arrive is to give the staff a heads-up that you’re there. They should know that you’re coming, as you will have called them, but this still makes sense as a courtesy.

Welcome people as they arrive, and ask folks to start displaying their signs.

Start as close to on time as possible. Don’t wait more than 10 minutes after your advertised start time—especially if any reporters are there.

Here’s a sample one-hour action agenda, assuming a start time of noon:

    • Arrive early—no later than 11:40 a.m., to make sure there are no unanticipated logistical issues, and to greet folks who arrive early.
    • Starting at 11:45 a.m. – Greet reporters as they arrive. You can usually identify reporters as people with notebooks who aren’t participating in the action. TV reporters usually arrive in vans with TV station logos on them and will have large cameras. Radio reporters often have visible recording equipment. Again, it’s best if someone is set up to do just this task and nothing else.
    • 11:45-12:05 – As people arrive, greeters welcome them and sign them in (click here for action sign-in sheets). You’ll want at least one designated greeter—more if you anticipate more than 40 people.
    • 11:45-12:10 – Lead the crowd in cheers and chants. Again, it’s best if someone is set up with a megaphone or other sound system for this.
    • 12:10-12:15 – The emcee officially starts the event, thanks people for coming, and briefly states why you’re all there. You should let people know how long the action will go. This is a great time to start live-tweeting pictures and updates of the event using the hashtag #NoWarWithIran.
    • 12:15-12:20 – First speaker (introduced by emcee)
    • 12:20-12:25 – Second speaker (introduced by emcee)
    • 12:25-12:30 – Third speaker (introduced by emcee)
    • 12:30-12:40 – Emcee wraps up, and a small delegation prepares to deliver the petitions.
    • 12:40-12:50 – Continued chanting and cheering, while the delegation delivers the petitions.
    • 12:50-12:55 – The emcee thanks people again for coming, repeats any important next step people should take, and announces any upcoming MoveOn events.
  • 12:55-1:30 – The event host and group continue to protest the target’s office, and do any follow-up interviews with reporters in attendance.


  • The public event should take no more than one hour and preferably stay under 30 minutes, if you don’t have any speakers.
  • Stay on message. There may be distractions or opponents. Remember that a majority of the American public supports diplomacy over war.
  • Ask others to step up into roles—don’t run a one-person show!
  • Take a head count 15 minutes into the event and be ready to offer it to the media.
  • If you are on a public sidewalk, make sure to keep a path clear for passersby.
  • Chants are often a great energizer.
  • Encourage people to take photos.
  • Announce the hashtag and encourage live-tweeting.
  • Have fun!

After Your Event


  1. Hold a meeting to debrief on your action and to talk about next steps. Plan this gathering to take place within 10 days of your action.
  2. Follow up with folks who attended your action.
    • Call through your sign-up sheets to thank people for coming and ask them to attend the next action when Congress returns from their August recess.
    • Debrief with any members who took on leadership roles during the event. This includes greeters, the emcee, and other coordinators.
    • Share any news coverage and press clippings with attendees. (It’s also great to send these to the office of your member of Congress.)
    • Send thank-you notes to any of the speakers from your event.
  3. Fill out the survey you’ll receive via email after the event.
  4. Email any photos from the event to photo@moveon.org, and share them on social media using #NoWarWithIran.
  5. Celebrate.

Must-have Materials

Press Advisory and media guide

Here are three press advisories for your No War With Iran action. Please pick the one that is in line with the message your are delivering. It’s really important to get the media to cover your event! Click here for our media guide.

The petitions you’re delivering

You should have received an email with a link to download your petitions. The file will include signatures for your member of Congress. Please click here to print the cover letter with the petition content and logos of all partners. If you don’t receive the link with the petitions, please email help@moveon.org right away.

Some of the files are quite large. If you would like reimbursement for your printing costs please complete this form.


“No War With Iran” and “Defend Diplomacy” signs:

“Thank you” signs, for members of Congress that have come out in support of the Iran deal.


Liven up your event with some CHANTS! Please click here to print several copies and distribute them at your event.

Host tools page

This is how you invite people and contact attendees. We sent you a link to this by email, but click here if you can’t find it.


The Agenda is an agenda for the host to use with helpful tips and information for your teach-in. Please review and print out a copy for yourself and any other co-host. Click here to print the agenda.

sheet

You are meeting fellow MoveOn members in the area, and it is great to get their contact information so you can thank them and invite them to future actions. Click here to print the sign-in page.

Sharing and social media

Email photos and video to photo@moveon.org. Tweet or post to Facebook and Instagram using hashtag #NoWarWithIran.

Need help?

Email your questions to help@moveon.org, and our team will respond to your question.