St. Louis - the AVMA convention takes place near the St. Louis arch you see in the background. Photo by Ron Reiring (Flickr)
Today's date: 1st September 2010:Protest against declawing - see you in St. Louis...I think that the suggestion by Kathleen that the demonstration should take place at the 2011 AVMA Convention is a great one. It is scheduled for 16 - 19 July 2011 in St. Louis. See map below for location of this city. It is a nice central location. See the earlier post (opens in new window) for information leading to this post.
The AVMA St. Louis convention will be held at the America's Center. (see map below). The America's Center is a complex of convention centers it seems to me. This may present obstacles or at least it asks questions as to where we can demonstrate. I wonder if one of the regulars could investigate where and under what rules a demonstration can take place at this center. If push comes to shove we can simply demonstrate on the street outside the center but I would prefer to be as close as possible.
To sign up to this landmark event please leave a comment with name and contact details (email). If you don't want to leave contact details here please email me - see my contact details. Or go to the Facebook page (new window) where there are lots of comments, thoughts and crossposting.
On this page, I set out my draft timetable and methods to try and put some structure into this discussion, which I love by the way! Thanks to everyone. Also, I think that we do need to create something as tangible as possible now, which will then make it easier to get other people involved including perhaps a celebrity and television.
I know people in America know where St. Louis, Missouri (MO) is but it helps to remind our international visitors and the map shows the actual location in St.Louis:
These are my initial thoughts. They are a discussion point.
1. We should keep the demonstration as simple as possible. This will make it easier to organize. We need it to be easy to organize as the process is inherently quite difficult. We need to minimize barriers to achieving this goal. We need to work together to achieve this. We will probably all need to compromise and keep focused on the big picture. The key is to actually achieve a demonstration. To do it, good or bad, is our goal. To achieve that would be wonderful.
2. We should agree the method of demonstration and timetabling before we meet up - we can refine and tune things up on the day before the demo. That means a solid method of communication. For the time being these pages are doing a fine job of bringing us all together. I don't think we need any other method just yet. In fact I think we have all we need on PoC (this is not self-promotion!). This simplifies things as we all know how to use PoC etc. There is nothing new to learn, no barriers. If someone wants to say something big they can make a post and I will add it as a link to the master page (the original call to arms page!), which will be the hub and a page to return to. I will keep it in tidy order and make sure it all links up.
Update: the Facebook page created by Susan is active and works in conjunction with this one.
The fact that it is in public, helps I think, as newcomers can join in and subscribe to the protest. The public nature of it is a protest in itself. At this time, I favor a public forum on this to capture more recruits. We can go private nearer the event if we need to.
A Yahoo Group is a decent possibility but that needs setting up. Some people don't know how to use them and it will create fragmentation, I feel (i.e there will be PoC and the group). Posting comments on PoC is a great form of communication as you can be notified of new comments.
3. The demonstration takes place on one day of the convention - lets say Day 2, 17th July 2011. It starts just before the delegates arrive in the morning. Ideally, it takes place outside, near the entrance to where the convention takes place - vital: we need to check permits and place. It lasts for 4 hours. We form a large group encircling the entrance, ideally in a crescent shape but it might just be a line across the street. We should have a good number of placards. These can be made up by individuals in their own way and time before the day. I favor the Pet Project poster as a "template" with the person's hand with the tops of the fingers chopped off. This would be a nice tie up with the Paw Project as well.
One thought: We could buy cheap over sized gloves. Cut off the ends of fingers of one glove. Paint the glove white. Put it on our right hand with our fingers not protruding through the holes. And then when we shout in unison we raise the hand above our heads like the black panther salute at the Olympics.
Yes, we shout as well! One person has a megaphone and he or she leads by asking a question such as, "What do we want?" The response by the large group is to shout in unison: "To stop declawing". The leader then asks, "Why do we want it?". The response shouted loud and confidently, "It's cat abuse" or some such short line. We can devise many more of these. The "chanting" can be interspersed with individuals shouting in protest.
4. Before the demo we make our own way to St. Louis. We make our own hotel arrangements or accommodation arrangements to simplify things. We meet up one day before the demo at a hotel convention room in St. Louis that can be hired - location to be announced/decided. PoC will pay for the hire of the room. This will give us the chance to meet, discuss, get fired up, practice our shouting etc. and refine the timetable etc.
5. Immediately after the demo, which will end at about midday we disperse to travel home saying our farewells and exchanging congratulatory hugs! We will have earned them.
6. We carry out a debrief on PoC over the days following the demonstration. The debrief will discuss: successes, failures, refinements etc.
7. We plan the next demonstration!