This is an easy way to support a cause you believe in. All you need to do is turn up at the advertised time and location
Politicians do take note of the numbers at these rallies and they are usually path of the course in trade union campaigns and stopworks, with a meeting, followed by a rally to parliament house.
Usually such rallies involve a peaceful demonstration of public concern. However, sometimes they have been known to turn violent and nasty, with demonstrators being arrested by police, or under oppressive regimes, even being shot and run down by the army.
This is rarely a risk in democratic countries, but do be aware, it is worth following non violent protocols and for demonstrators to be well dressed and polite, to maintain the credibility and media profile of the orgaisation that has organised the rally.
If you are ever in the position of organising a public rally on behalf of an organisation, here is a checklist to help it run smoothly.
1) Decide on a meeting point and time to maximise public attendance and ensure publicity and posters get out to publicise the event.
2) Notify and liaise with the police in relation to the route your rally will take. In my experience the police can be a positive asset for a major and non violent public protest, but having them on your side from the beginning, is way better, than a surprise rally, that is effecting traffic flows in the CBD and they know nothing about!
3) Organise marshalls to organise the crowd and take the head and the end of the rally. Marshalls usually march with linked arms at the front of the rally. Tee shirts to make the marshalls clearly visible.
4) Organise key note speakers to address the crowd at the start, or end of the rally, or both.
5) Ensure their is a mobile dias on the back of a truck or lorry for your speakers to address the crowd and good public audio system, so they can be heard. Alternatively, you can book a good outdoor venue and end with speakers and entertainment. People for Nuclear Disarmament held a festival at the Myer Music Bowl after at least one of their highly successful rallies in Melbourne in the mid 1980s, complete with bands and stalls and speakers at key points of the route.
6) Send a press release of the details to radio, television and newspapers to maximise the coverage of your rally prior to its taking place.
7) If your rally begins with a meeting, you will need to book and pay for a venue large enough to accomodate the numbers you expect,. It also needs to be an appropriate distance from where your rally will end.
Public rallies were fundamental to changing public opinion and policy in relation to the Vietnam War, Nuclear Disarmament and the Howard Government's Workchoices within Australia.