February 26, 1960
Suggestions for CORE Pickets
A picket line is a form of public demonstration often use by CORE groups. It has a two-fold purpose. It informs the public of some form of discrimination and it asks the public to take action to end the discrimination.
To win public support it is important that the picketers be neat and well dressed and that the line be orderly. It is unusually best to carry informative [place cards] and to distribute leaflets so that the public will be able to learn all of the facts. As always on CORE demonstrations, one or two persons should be in charge of the picket line. The picket captain may then designate responsibilities including that of answering the questions of passersby.
Sometimes you may wish to chant slogans. At other times this may not be appropriate. But in no case should the slogans be abusive. And always if we do use slogans we should agree on the slogans beforehand and we should chant in unison.
The line itself should walk only before the property of the company picketed. The entrances should never be blocked (we try to keep customers out by moral force - not by physical force).
Those who distribute leaflets should be stationed near the entrance. They should speak to each person briefly and ask his support. They should not engage in extended discussions since this means they cannot effectively do the main job.
In bad weather or when the picketing goes on for a long time the picket captain should allow for coffee breaks. Otherwise it may be difficult to get participants to return.
Remeber that while we are picketing we are trying to lay the groundwork for a permanent change in policy. Public demonstrations go on at the same time as genuine negotiations. It is therefore particularly important that our lines be effective and that they be orderly. We must continue to win the goodwill of management, of customers and employees.
No matter what the provocation we remain calm and courteous to all. We do not respond to hoots or to jeers. Our strength lies in our moral force.
State Archives of Florida: Collection N2015-1, Box 01, Folder 12
Leaflet with guidelines for how to carry out CORE pickets; how to present oneself at the demonstration; how to engage with the public; and outlining the purpose of picketing.