In the '60s, demonstrators were a dime a dozen. It did not seem to matter quite what the protest was about, since you could find anyone who was willing to go along for the ride, sit in on the grass, and carry a sign. Now, you cannot get volunteer protesters for anything. It is not that so few people have reasons to rally for causes; it is because they have a lot of other stuff to do. Even college kids seem less oriented to protesting and demonstrating than they once did. If you need more volunteers to act as demonstrators for your cause, you are probably going to be hard-pressed to find them. Here is the problem(s) with volunteer demonstrators, and how to fix it.
Nobody Wants to Do Anything for Free Anymore
The whole point to volunteering is that you believe in a cause, and you want to show your support for that cause. You are willing to fight for that cause, and spend time in jail for the cause, if it goes that far. Well, not too many people want to go that far because they need to work, pay the bills, feed the family, etc., so nobody does much of anything for free anymore. At least, they will not do it for free for anything longer than, say, one to three hours. After that, a lot of your volunteers will probably head home.
They Do Not Understand How the Cause Affects Them
Those that you ask to come join the demonstration often do not understand how your cause affects them. For example, if you are fighting against bee eradication, the potential demonstrators do not know or understand that no bees mean no pollination, and no pollination means no food of the produce type. When people understand that a cause deeply impacts their personal well-being, they are more likely to join forces.
How to Fix the Problem(s)
Feed your volunteer demonstrators. Give them a nearby porta-potty to relieve themselves. Give them enough information to realize that this cause affects everyone, including them. Give them entertainment in the form of like-minded supporters who can really entertain and inform the crowd of what is happening by holding this event. Give them permission to sit down when they are tired and give them comfortable chairs to sit on so that they do not sit on wet, hard, or muddy ground. If all else fails, bribe them with a few bucks to stay just a little bit longer (i.e., hire them to stay!).
For more information and tips on how to hire demonstrators, contact your local events professionals.