Direct Action Roles for Affinity Groups

(A very abbreviated list…)




Activist, Organizer, Coordinator, Campaigner


Researchers: to learn about the target and gather facts for the campaign.

Scouting the site or route

Outreach and organizing

Logistics and support

Meeting facilitator

Artists, Painters, Sewers to make props, signs, banners, political theatre, etc.

Media outreach: Send out media advisory and media release

Media kits: write, gather and photocopy contents.

Writers: write materials, flyers, media kit contents, web site, etc.




People risking arrest: intending to risk arrest and commit civil disobedience

Direct Support People: risking arrest by staying with those locked down as long as possible and necessary and providing a human shield to those locked down

Police Liaison: maintains communication between police and demonstrators.

Peacekeepers/monitors: another “layer” of human shield protection for the demonstration, specializing in nonviolent de-escalation techniques.

Deployment Team: helpers for getting people locked down and in place.
Diversion Team: to draw attention away from the people most vulnerable
Media spokesperson: delivers crisp, 6-second sound bites to hungry reporters.
Media outreach: stays back in the office faxing press releases and making outreach calls.
Communication team: helps “clusters” of affinity groups stay in touch.

Demonstrators/Sign-holders/Chanters/Singers/ Hand out literature etc.

Videographer(s): to document the action and provide images to media.

Still photographer: to document the action and provide images to media.
Medic/EMT/Medical Team: deal with emergency health issues of participants.

Legal Observer(s): observes the police action, paying close attention to police violence.

Jail Support Contact person: the person on the “outside” who we call to update.

For lock-downs: an off-site key holder




Legal Support to help the people in jail and coordinate with lawyers.
Lawyer: provides support and information about our choices.
Documentarian/Historian/Archivist: keep track of the paperwork and footage.


Public speakers

Letter writers to decision-makers and newspaper editorial boards