From coast to coast, the movement to end military aid to Israel has an emerging public face. In Chicago, CJPIP (www.cjpip.org) has launched Phase 2 of our successful public transportation advertising campaign on the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) system.
And in this “End Military Aid to Israel Spring”, we have been joined by activist groups from coast to coast – with new ad campaigns going live in Boston and Washington DC (to coincide with Move Over AIPAC ) over the past couple of weeks.
In Chicago, Phase 2, we have placed advertisements on the backs of CTA buses that travel surface streets from one end of the city to the other. Thousands of Chicago drivers and pedestrians see the signs daily. Our Chicago supporters are texting and emailing us pictures of the buses that they encounter on the streets.
From our first Chicago success in the fall of 2010, the “Be on Our Side” advertising campaign has expanded to U.S. cities and campuses in the southwest and the east and west coasts. The campaign has been picked up by activist organizations in several U.S. cities, each of whom have a separate presence and donation mechanism on the campaign website,www.TwoPeoplesOneFuture.org — which has had about 7,000 unique visitors and almost 28,000 page views since October.
The regional campaigns include:
- San Francisco Bay Area Regional Transit system advertisements
- Billboards in Albuquerque
- Digital displays in the Arizona State University student union building (the first of many campuses, we hope)
- T-stations in Boston
- Metro lines in Washington, DC
Our success in working with our regional partners shows that it is “do-able” for groups with modest resources to have a tremendous public impact. The website page, “Bring the campaign to your city,” offers first-stage advice for activists exploring the feasibility of launching a local campaign. Here at the “Chicago hub”, we’re ready with technical support and the capacity to produce professional-quality advertising materials that meet the technical specifications of almost any medium.
And if you are coming to Move Over AIPAC, Chicago, Albuquerque, and Washington, DC activists will share our tips at the workshop: Buses, Billboards, and Digital Displays: Creative Tactics to Oppose U.S. Military Aid to Israel.
We have also produced 4×6 inch full-color pocket cards for guerrilla marketing of the campaign, based on the popular Fast Facts feature of our website. We have already distributed around 7,000 cards to people in the Chicago area and around the country – who leave them behind in high-traffic public spaces such as airports, libraries, university buildings, doctor’s offices, etc. (I always have a pack in my purse or coat pocket.)
Sure, the usual suspects have raised their bogus, tired accusations about the campaign being “anti-Semitic” and “anti-Israel,” but our experience is that the “Be on Our Side” imagery and messaging is succeeding because it promotes a positive, productive U.S. policy that appeals to common sense and decency.
The “Be on Our Side” campaign is catching on because public awareness is shifting. Many Americans are questioning old assumptions and are hungry for information beyond what’s available in the mainstream media. We’re excited that groups around the country are using our advertising materials and supporting website —to bring this message past the politicians and directly to the people.