Hello everyone, my name is C. and I am an organizer for Refuse Fascism in Seattle. Before I talk about postering, I would like to take a moment to explain how I personally got involved with Refuse Fascism and why.
I had seen the picket signs at protests; I had even attended a few protests and rallies hosted by Refuse Fascism not really knowing what they were about. What I did know is I was tired of just attending events. I was tired of just standing up to fascists in the streets and not seeing unity. So many groups, so many ideals bickering with each other, tearing each other apart while fascists gained ground here in Seattle and across the country. The gates had been opened by the regime in our highest office. I was looking for solidarity, a group, someone or something trying to make a difference against the horrible affliction of this regime. I found Refuse Fascism to be doing just that, uniting all who can be united. When I joined in July it was before the nationwide July 15 protests. In one of my first meetings I was asked to hang posters for the march. Being a somewhat introvert I was reluctant. It was scary for me, but I agreed. Since then, I have overcome the reluctance having the opportunity to work with and learn from some pretty incredible people for such a needed cause.
Our poster team found that groups work best. There is safety in numbers, time goes by quicker, and more posters are hung. Split up into two member teams, one team on each side of the road and before you know it you have hung 300 or more posters! We try to respect other’s posters, not covering them unless they are out of date, ripped, etc. Two member teams allow for one person to search for a spot on the pole or hold the poster in place while the other staples or tapes.
Saturating an area helps, not all your posters will make it! We make it a point to put at least one poster to a pole, saturating the area. Usually by the end of the week a lot of them have been torn down or covered, but quite a few make it. On metal poles we have found that the middle of posters are normally torn out, only leaving the taped areas. To combat this we started using 11×8 posters and taping the entire poster to the pole. For the 11×17 posters we tape the outside perimeter and any part of the poster’s message we want to endure if ripped off. Depending on the poster it could be a line of tape across the middle of the poster where it says “November 4 it begins…” This method uses more tape, but the posters stay up longer. You may be wondering why go through all the trouble of basically laminating posters to the poles? Well, one of the most disheartening nights, that we now joke about, was last month. We had postered about a mile of poles. It was the night before a large outdoor concert so we saturated the area. When we began walking back to where he had started out, we noticed that almost every poster had been torn down the entire way. So on our way back we re-hung the posters, it was just a little aggravating.
It’s not all about just about keeping the posters up though. We get a lot positive feedback from people, along with what is Refuse Fascism? From shop owners to tourists, people are interested. I have found if you hang a poster near a group, they will peer over your shoulder or look at it once you are finished.
Many of our posters hanging in shops around Seattle were put up by the owners themselves after seeing us poster and coming to us asking for copies. Humans are inquisitive, so carry some extra materials with you to hand out. This could be palm cards, which are easy to carry, or even the Refuse Fascism paper listing all the atrocities. We have even had people exiting the bar, walk up, read the poster, and then take selfies with us in front of the poster! As the poster team organizer I keep track of where and when we poster. That being said, I have even been surprised running across our posters in various parts of the city, left wondering who postered that? How did they get that there? That’s what we need and want, the movement to grow beyond us, to reach the masses in the name of humanity. In the end it is about outreach and don’t be hindered when you see your work torn down. All it takes is the right person seeing the poster!