A Guide to Direct Action
Against TVs in Public Places

White Dot now has volunteers all over America and Britain taking part in this year's protests against televisions in public places. Here is a guide to the kinds of things you can do.


Direct Action

When you hear the words "direct action" you may think of Greenpeace volunteers chaining themselves to whaling ships. If you want to chain yourself to the doors of a restaurant that has a TV then go for it! Tell us where to send the reporters.

But you don't have to be confrontational. Here is what we aim to acheive this year:

- Show customers they don't have a real say over how these places are run.
- Show owners of restaurants and cafes that TV may be LOSING them customers.
- Start a conversation about noise pollution, image pollution and public spaces.
- Suggest to owners they use a TV Free atmosphere to attract customers.
- Show that ordinary customers are wise to the way TV is being pushed at them.
- Tell people about the new and growing industry in "captive audience television".
- Show that ordinary customers HATE being a captive audience.


Places to Go
Televsions are now everywhere you go. Look for them in banks, supermarkets, filling stations, pubs, clubs, bars, restaurants, diners, cafes, barber shops, post offices, doctors' waiting rooms, hospitals, airports, train stations, cafeterias, airplanes, buses, subways, stationers, department stores and even men's toilets.


Things You Can Do

The first thing to do is invite some friends. You'll feel less nervous as part of a gang, and remember: the large majority of people in pubs and cafes do not want the TV on. It's the TV's owner who should be feeling sheepish. Plan a route through town and turn it into a pub crawl.

- Write down a few reasons why you don't like the TV sets on.
- Read some of the articles on this website.
- Have a look at www.aka.net and remind yourself why this is important.
- Download and print the materials on our website (www.whitedot.org)
- You may wish to buy a TV-B-Gone universal remote. It turns off any TV set and White Dot makes some money.
- Talk the idea over with a friend and get used to answering questions.
- Remember: If you drink too much, coffee or alcohol, it could could all get ugly.

Once inside somewhere that is polluted by telvision, there are a number of ways to clean it up:

1) The quiet way
Walk into a cafe. Sneakily place the menu cards into all the menus. Turn off the TV. Leave. Repeat every day for a few days.

2) The conversational way
Walk into a cafe. Place menu cards in a few menus. Turn off the TV. See if anyone notices. Ask your fellow customers if they noticed. Ask if they like or do not like the TV on. Ask to speak to the owner. Point out that you turned off the TV and no one cared, or were happy it was off. Give him the signs advertising "We've turned off the TV" etc. and ask if he/she would like to offere their customers quiet times or days during the week.

3) Another conversational way
As above, but speak with customers first. Take a vote. If more people want it off than on, turn it off. Ask to speak to the owner and explain what you've done. Ask if he would like to put a questionnaire near the till, (which will be available on the website tomorrow) asking people if they like it or not.

3) The campaigning way
If a place has refused to talk to you or you've been thrown out, stand outside with a clipboard, asking people as they go in whether or not they want a TV on as they drink or eat. Be honest. Record all the yeses and nos. (The chances are very good that the Nos will outnumber the Yeses) Gather lots of signatures. Call the press. Have them photograph you presenting the survey to the owner.

4) The confrontational way
Get together with five friends and arrange times of the day and week when you will go in and turn off the TV, leave menu cards etc. Keep doing it until you are thrown out. Call the media and invite them along. Have them film you being thrown out.

5) The very confrontational way
Chain yourself to the railings.


The Press

Read through the "Ruined Diners" pages of our website. It will give you an idea of what we at White Dot are saying to the media.

Call the local newspaper etc, and send us an email at info@whitedot.org with a phone number, so we can put you in touch with other reporters. If you speak to the press, just be yourself. Explain why you don't like TV in public places and that turning off the TV is just a way to show the people around you that they have a choice. Don't bother getting too serious or angry. On this issue, we are actually in the majority. Most people feel exactly the way you do.

So don't speak too harshly. We win this argument just by having the conversation.

Important: If you have a TV-B-Gone and plan to use it in a news story, make sure the TV-B-Gone works on the TV in the place you are going!! The TV-B-Gone turns off virtually any TV, but you want to be sure.


Afterwards

Most importantly, write to us at info@whitedot.org and tell us how it went. What did people say? Who supported you and who got mad?