Solidarity actions are needed now more than ever.
Read on to learn how to take action.

 Step 2: Plan and coordinate your action


Center indigenous voices and follow indigenous leadership when taking action. Also center communities who are forced to bear the brunt of the destruction caused fossil fuel extraction (e.g. communities near extraction sources, refineries, in the path of other pipeline projects). Reach out to diverse organizations who may be interested in working with you to plan and promote the action. These may include: Native American and indigenous; environmental; labor; health; faith; social justice; and other types of organizations. Make sure to reach out to local chapters of national organizations who are co-sponsoring this campaign. You can use these sample chants, signs, and memes to get some ideas. Before your action, send out a press release (you can use this one and add local details). Click here to download a cover letter summarizing the demands of over 500,000 people worldwide representing over $2.3 billion in assets already/ready to be Divested. Print this letter and bring it with you to your bank action to deliver to a manager. 

What should your event look like? It’s up to you but here are 3 examples for groups of any size:

  • For up to 3 people: Have one person go into the local bank branch and close their account. Make sure to tell the people you talk to why you’re closing your account (because the bank is funding the Dakota Access Pipeline) and deliver the cover letter. Have one or two friends hand out fliers, film you on their cell phone and take a photo like this.

  • For up to 12 people: Pick a local bank branch and enter the bank all at once with your signs and the download packet. Ask to talk to a manager so you can deliver the cover letter, and begin singing or chanting to make sure everyone knows why you’re there. If you’re asked to leave or the manager won't see you, continue chanting and handing out fliers on the sidewalk outside. Here's an example of what it might look like.

  • For 50 or more people: line up on the sidewalk outside your bank branch to prevent anyone going in or out. Chant and sing so people know why you’re there. Send a delegation of 2-3 people inside to deliver the cover letter to the bank manager or a staff member. Make sure to explain why your group is there and has chosen to close down this branch for an hour (because as long as they’re in the business of funding DAPL, we’ll be in the business of shutting them down). Here’s an example of what that might look like.

Actions are best planned by assigning tasks to point people or groups: 


Outreach and Promotion

  • Email announcements

  • Phone calls

  • Social media (Facebook events, memes)

  • Flyers/posters

  • Speaking at other events


  • Speakers

  • Music

  • Chants (see examples)

  • Banners

  • Handouts/Stickers

  • Theater

  • Puppets/Costumes


  • ​Contact and update media outlets/reporters. If you are not using the element of surprise, send a the press advisory one or two days before your event, and call to ensure they received it.

  • Bring a copy of the press release to hand out 

  • Designate a point person to be press contact 


  • Always be prepared for the possibility of arrest 

  • Have a police liason

  • Know your rights when interacting with police

  • Have a phone number and support person off site who can be called by arrestees


  • Take Photos and videos!

  • Live tweet and livestream on Facebook, post photos to your event pages

  • Share your photos with us at 

  • Write a blog post after the action 

Step 3: Hold the action (and document it!)


  • Bring banners, signs and chant sheets

  • Welcome everyone and thank them for coming

  • Ask volunteers and participants to sign in (sample sign-up sheets)

  • Have fun!

  • Take good photos!

  • Live tweet and facebook from the event with #NoDAPL and #DefundDAPL so everyone can see what you’re doing!

  • Speak with the press present and hand out your press release

Step 4: Follow up with next steps

  • Type up your sign up sheets and upload them to your database or mail service

  • Email all volunteers after the event to thank them and invite them to the next action or meeting you organize. Include photos and videos from the event

  • Call as many attendees as possible

    • Thank them for attending

    • Invite them to your next event

  • Debrief volunteers

    • What worked or didn’t work so well?

    • Who would like a bigger or different role next time?

    • Celebrate!

  • Write wrap up posts for social media with the best photos from the day, thanking people for coming out

  • Brainstorm how to take the next action deeper or in a more creative direction


Ready to go?


Step 1: Choose your time and location

There are many target options:

Schedule your action at the best time for your community and objectives. Consider:

  • Will the bank be open?

  • Is there a private conference or public event where representatives of these banks may be speaking at or sponsoring?

  • Is there a highly visible location for a banner?

  • When will most attendees be available - on the weekend? Lunchtime? 

Once you choose a time and have scouted a good location, register your action to spread the word. 

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