We've seen a substantial amount of activity with regard to organizing various protests on May 30th at the Federal Courthouse where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will appear for his first hearing. Some are in the name of freeing Jahar, some are to support a cause, some are to demand accountability and transparency, and some are for civil liberties.

To protect you, we wanted to share something very important regarding public demonstrations/protests:

  • While we are not experts on law, it was brought to our attention that protests of this nature (e.g. at a Federal building, level of controversy  etc.) may be required to file with United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) and approved by the local government system. (Link)
  • Protests are part of our basic rights as American citizens and protected under freedom of speech. However, there are local laws that take precedence with regard to public demonstrations (e.g. Is it on state owned or private property?, Is it a highly policed event?, etc.). To the best of our knowledge, you are legally permitted to protest if you consider these things and do so peacefully.
  • Effective demonstrations are those that are strategically executed in a peaceful and organized manner. Protests that result in shouting groups of angry people typically result in arrest and imprisonment. These examples can deliver a devastating blow to your cause as the mainstream media will be sure to paint it as reckless and disorganized.
  • Peacefully organized demonstrations, group protests and/or viral protests, are dependent entirely upon the individual supporters. Our belief is that we can have a far greater impact if we operate individually but act as one and doing so peacefully will paint our cause in a positive light and win over support.

The Justice4Jahar worldwide viral protest is an effort to have a tremendous impact that will raise awareness for Jahar, civil liberty, and the role media plays in important cases such as this. Accomplishing a demonstration of this scale effectively is only possible if we consider the following:

  • Private companies and organizations (e.g. Susan G. Komen Foundation, Starbucks, Walmart, etc.) are successful as a result of their brand influence. They sing the same tune wherever they are. They are represented in a uniformed and organized fashion. In doing so, they command respect. While we don't discourage your enthusiasm, it's important to consider operating as a single entity by using the resources provided at WEARETHELION.COM, free iron-on shirt designs are available for those that do not wish to purchase a shirt.
  • There will be groups there protesting traditionally, they will be in the spotlight of mainstream media. A viral protest places individuals in the surrounding area of an event as if they were simply visiting the city (having a coffee at a local coffee shop, shopping in the local mall, walking down the street casually, etc.). We believe we can raise more awareness and paint our cause in a positive light by being effective. Consider this, which do you believe is more effective: Shouting at a courthouse or pleasantly speaking with people one-on-one?
  • On-site demonstrators that correctly represent our worldwide viral protest may be stopped and questioned by the media. More instructions will follow but it is highly encouraged that you simply state "We support civil liberty, constitutional justice, and freedom of speech. We are the lion." We discourage answering any other questions with anything other than that as you can be unintentionally led into an answer that can be devastating to our cause.
  • Thousands of supporters are located globally, the majority of which cannot demonstrate locally. These supporters can still have a positive effect by joining the worldwide viral protest. We do not want to limit these efforts just because someone is unable to make the trip.

We are already being targeted for our cause, this is a sign that we are making a difference. Some things to consider:

  • The image we custom designed of a lion, as well as the statements we're making (e.g. "You will hear us ROAR"), are being targeted for copyright and patent infringement. As we said earlier, we are not experts on law but to the best of our knowledge, these claims have been made by anti-Jahar supporters who speak with zero authority with regard to trademark, copyright, and patent law. If we are indeed found to be unknowingly in violation of these claims, we will respond to a cease and desist letter with complete compliance. 
  • We are seeking legal advice from several supporters who are well-respected business law practitioners. 
  • Individual efforts made by our cause, such as our Facebook page and the page where the shirt is available for purchase, appear to occasionally "bug out" and go down. While we cannot claim that these are attacks, it is suspected that there are those that do not wish for our message to be heard.

WEARETHELION is a cause for freedom of speech, constitutional justice with regard to innocent until proven guilty due process, and civil liberties. Our movement was inspired by the events that led up to the arrest of Dzhokhar and those that followed but it is not entirely dedicated to it. Some thoughts to consider:

  • A cause for a single individual can be crushed quickly. Regardless of the findings of the United States Federal Court, it is inevitable that if found guilty, our cause would quickly disappear. Our goal is to press forward, regardless of the outcome, and become an authoritative influence to the world for the items listed in the paragraph above.

We do not want to place anyone in danger and we do not wish for our cause to be painted in a negative light. That is why only those utilizing approved worldwide viral protest materials (found on the events page of this website) will be endorsed by our cause. We are not discouraging other traditional protests and demonstrations, we are simply organizing what we believe will have a better effect and paint our cause in a positive light.

Lastly, if you do plan to be in the vicinity of the hearing on May 30, please be careful and exercise your brain-power. Follow any instructions given to you by law enforcement or private establishments, do not respond to hateful attacks with anything other than what we've outlined above, be mindful of your surroundings (use the buddy system), and be thoughtful of others - even if they do not yet support our cause. Good luck!

With sincere thanks,

5/6/2013 02:58:30 pm

Sitting and completely silent protest with the Signs and Written messages in front of federal/city buildings or popular tourist spots/traps is the best way of expressing your opinion and generating positive movement. When you create the silence and signs with concrete short slogans, you create the comfortable time for people/bypassers to stop/see/read/contemplate/get curious/and share what they saw and think about it with others.

Firmness supported by silence and slogans.

Meghan Barton
6/26/2013 12:49:49 pm

Anthony-I like your thoughts on the matter. I have been considering going to Boston for a quiet, calm, peaceful march with signs to give awareness (Not to 'free Dzhokhar' though I do believe him to be innocent. And not signs stating things as fact, when we do not know the 'facts') however, I am realizing that other than three people, I haven't found many, though I only wanted a small few. I am considering going a day or two before July tenth and sitting somewhere close and in the open with a sign, though I do see the danger in doing that alone. I do not want to be part of a 'protest' because as Wearethelion stated, those can turn into a screaming match fast. I am considering going to Boston with a few signs so that if someone passing by decides to sit quietly with me, they can hold their own.

6/26/2013 01:20:46 pm

@Meghan - We actually developed a peaceful sit-in event in Boston based on some of the feedback Anthony left here. Check it out by going here: http://www.wearethelion.com/boston-silent-sit-in.html

Our event is peaceful, organized, and legal. Hope this helps!


5/16/2013 05:01:58 pm

Does anybody know if i can protest in my state?? If i can does anybody know where in FL?

5/16/2013 08:20:28 pm

We've added several areas of Florida to the Forum, check in to the area closest to you and get your friends to join. Good luck.

5/17/2013 08:00:05 am

I have searched but i found nothing, i really want to show up to the may30th event but like i said in Florida is kind of hard due to all the rednecks, i would like to know where can i go and how would I get in touch with floridians as well, I'm sort of afraid of going by myself since i don't want to be attacked by haters but united we stand if at least another supporter would show

5/17/2013 08:03:25 am

Jacksonville: http://www.wearethelion.com/forums.html#/20130516/jacksonville-fl-usa-2614370/

Miami: http://www.wearethelion.com/forums.html#/20130516/miami-fl-2614309/

Orlando/CFL: http://www.wearethelion.com/forums.html#/20130516/orlando-fl-usa-2614306/

You have to jump in and get the discussion started. More will come.

5/25/2013 04:51:05 pm

Unless you are protesting the award of a government contract, the GAO is probably not an authoritative source for legal advice.


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