1. Check out the office beforehand. Does it have a foyer you can sit in? Perhaps there is a door you can block? Think about whether there are other people’s offices that would need to use the door or foyer.
2. Designate roles: elect someone to speak to the reception and other staff on your behalf and then let that person do the jon. Elect someone else to speak to the media. Elect someone to speak to police. Try and avoid letting other members of the group speak to these people, as it will create confusion.
3. Walk into the office together, take your banners, papier mache props, photos and flyers.
4. Tell the reception staff who you are and why you are there.
5. Sit down on the floor together. Perhaps you could start singing, or reading from a prepared statement.
6. You could ring the police – someone is going to call them anyway, and it might as well be you.
7. Send your media release. Is there someone in an office somewhere that you can organise to wait for your alert to send out the media release? If you’re feeling cheeky, you could even use the politician’s fax machine!
8. The media liaison person can then start calling the media.
9. Use nonviolent non-cooperation techniques to stay as long as you can. Some of these – and lots of other great training material – can be found in the Nonviolence Trainers Resource Manual at http://www.nonviolence.org
10. Make sure you take great pictures of yourselves and record what’s happening (Don’t be pushy and cocky about this though… keep a respectful distance from individuals)
11. If you’re committed and ready, you could use locking devices to make it harder for the police to remove you from the office. It is not necessary to do this to have a successful sit-in, look at the lunch counter sit-ins during the civil rights movement – but it can make the event last much longer and secure more media coverage. It is likely to result in the arrest of the person who locks themselves on, but on relatively minor charges. See elsewhere in this kit for legal help.
12. Know when you are going to leave, and how.
Afterwards, make sure you get together and talk about how the step-in went. Did you get your message across? Did everybody feel involved and empowered?