Even if you've never been to a meeting in your life, it's time for you to start an anti-censorship group where you live. It's easy--whether you're still in school, have a full time job, are looking for work, or just kicking back. People just like you are doing it in cities big and small across the country. It won't go smoothly all the time, but you can be confident because the RIGHT TO ROCK and ROCK OUT CENSORSHIP network will be with you every step of the way.

Here are some suggestions about how to get off the ground with your first few meetings. They've worked for others, but feel free to improvise. The rest of us are as eager to learn from you as we are to share our experiences with you.

1. WHO TO INVITE? You can start by calling your friends who are as pissed off as you are or by putting up signs at work or at school. You and a friend could make some flyers with a meeting time, address and phone number and pass them at concerts where there are lots of people who would be interested. ROCK & ROLL CONFIDENTIAL and R.O.C. can supply you with a list of the names and addresses of other outraged music fans in your area/state.

2. WHERE SHOULD WE HAVE A MEETING? Try getting a room at a local school. If everybody's over 21, you could hold it in a bar. Some record stores have a place in the back where you can meet or club owners will often let you use their place if there are no shows that evening. Also try the local independent music paper for a meeting space. If your meeting is small, you can have it at someone's house or apartment. This isn't a Rotary Club banquet, all you need is a place to talk.

3. WHAT SHOULD WE DO AT THE MEETING? Start with an agenda, a list of things you want to talk about. The first point should be introductions. People may want to just give their names, but sometimes people talk about their work, their families, or what kind of music they like. After the intros, discuss the local censorship scene. It will help you figure out what activities to pursue and you may be amazed to learn what problems are hidden away in the corners of your town. Finally, decide on what you are going to do first. You could start by passing out flyers at concerts. Or circulate a pro-music petition for one week. Or call all of your political representatives and find out their stand on music censorship. Then get back together again and assess how things are going and plan your next move. It's very important not to leave your first meeting until you decide when to meet again and what needs to be accomplished before the next meeting. When you get a chance, let ROCK A ROLL CONFIDENTIAL and THE R.O.C. know what you're doing so the rest of the country can benefit from your experiences through our papers.

The main thing is to get started right away. Like everyone else, you'll have both successes and failures, but this is how we learn to build the organizations we need to defend our music. Whatever happens, remember this: You will never, ever be alone again.


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