Presidential Advance Manual — Free Speech Zones, Rally squads, & local police coordination
Posted by Arroyoribera on September 23, 2007
In 1988 George H.W. Bush visited Spokane for a campaign rally in Riverfront Park. The rally area was roped off as Secret Service men and police checked man-hole covers and roof tops. I arrived early and embedded myself in the crowd with my rolled up sign which read “Bush-Noriega ’88’: America’s CIA/Cocaine Connection”. In the several front rows were numerous people armed with Bush campaign signs reading “Bush-Quayle ’88”. As we waited, the event coordinator took to the microphone to instruct the crowd on what to expect and how to act. He then warmed people up with several accelerating, crescendoing rounds of “Bush Quayle, Bush Quayle, Bush Quayle, Bush Quayle”. When Bush arrived, I unrolled my sign. I was careful to raise it only when the crowd raised its “Bush-Quayle ’88” signs. A number of minutes into the event, I received the first whack across the head, from someone standing behind me with a rolled up copy of the local newspaper, the Spokesman-Review. When the event ended, I was pushed by a couple middle aged people and then an elderly man attempted to trip me with his cane.
That is how it was done in the old days.
Things are a little different now. Canes have been replaced with tasers and the local newspaper has been replaced by this — the Presidential Advance Manual.
After being redacted by U.S. government employees with white-out and black markers, only 5 pages of the original 103 page Presidential Advance Manual remain. Thanks to the ACLU for obtaining this information.
From the little that remains of the manual after the government censors finished with it, I have printed here the sections on neutralizing protesters, forming “rally squads”, taking action “immediately” to counter protesters, and coordination with local police and the SS. As to how to form “rally squads”, the document states, “The rally squads can include, but are not limited to, college/young republican organizations, local athletic teams, and fraternities/sororities.” The document closes with information on making sure rally organizers involved in crowd suppression are paid by the right entity, either the White House for official events or the Republican National Committee for political one.
[This is an additional commentary on this Presidential Advance Manual — ACLU Provides Concrete Evidence Of Bush’s Contempt For Free Speech]
OFFICE OF PRESIDENTIAL ADVANCE
NOTE: It is a violation of Federal law to duplicate or reproduce this manual without permission. It is not to be photocopied or released to anyone outside of the Executive Office of the President, White House Military Office or United States Secret Service. It has been developed for your guidance and is intended for your personal use. For more information, please contact the Office of Presidential Advance at
Always be prepared for demonstrators, even if the local organization tells you that there will not be any. It is the responsibility of the Lead Advance to have in place an effective plan for dealing with demonstrators.
As mentioned, all Presidential events must be ticketed or accessed by a name list. This is the best method for preventing demonstrators People who are obviously going to try to disrupt the event can be denied entrance at least to the VIP area between the stage and the main camera platform. That does not mean that supporters without tickets cannot be given tickets at the door and gain entrance to the event. It is also not the responsibility of the Secret Service to check the tickets of the people entering. They are concerned whether the person is a threat physically to The President and not a heckler. It is important to have your volunteers at a checkpoint before the Magnetometers in order to stop a demonstrator from getting into the event. Look for signs that they may be carrying, and if need be, have volunteers check for folded cloth signs that demonstrators may be bringing to the event.
For fundraising events, [redacted]
Preparing for Demonstrators
There are several ways the advance person can prepare a site to minimize demonstrators. First, as always, work with the Secret Service and have them ask the local police department to designate a protest area where demonstrators can be placed, preferable not on view of the event site or motorcade route.
The formation of “rally squads” is a common way to prepare for demonstrators by countering their message. This tactic involves utilizing small groups of volunteers to spread favorable messages using large hand held signs, placards, or perhaps a long sheet banner, and placing them in strategic areas around the site.
These squads should be instructed always to look for demonstrators. The rally squad’s task is to use their signs and banners as shields between the demonstrators and the main press platform. If the demonstrators are yelling, rally squads can begin and lead supportive chants to drown out the protesters (USA!,USA!,USA!). As a last resort, security should remove the demonstrators form the event site. The rally squads can include, but are not limited to, college/young republican organizations, local athletic teams, and fraternities/sororities.
For larger rallies, the squads should be broken up into groups of approximately 15-25 people. A squad should be placed immediately in front of the stage, immediately in forgot of the main camera platform, close to the cut platform, immediately behind the stage area (if people are being used as the backdrop), and at least one squad should be ‘roaming’ throughout the perimeter of the event to look for potential problems.
Being aware of Demonstrators
It is important for the Advance Team and all volunteers to be on the lookout for potential demonstrators. Volunteers should be instructed to contact the Advance person on site (whether it is the Lead, Press or Site Advance) when they see demonstrators. Always check with local police to inquire of any demonstration permits issued prior to a visit.
Once a group of demonstrators has been identified, the Advance person must decide what action to take. If it is determined that the media will not see or hear them and that the pose no potential disruption to the event, they can be ignored. On the other hand, if the group is carrying signs, trying to shout down the President, or has potential to cause some greater disruption to the event, action needs to be taken immediately to minimize the demonstrator’s effect.
Before reacting to demonstrators, the Advance person should inform the rest of the Advance Team, the Tour Director, and the Press Advance Director of the situation. Be prepared to give the number of demonstrators, location(s), a description, and their issue/organization.
It the demonstrators appear to be a security threat, notify the Secret Service immediately. If demonstrators appear likely to cause only a political disruption, it is the Advance person’s responsibility to take appropriate action. Rally squads should be dispatched to surround and drown out demonstrators immediately.
Remember – avoid physical contact with demonstrators! Most often, the demonstrators want a physical confrontation. Do not fall into their trap! Also, do not do anything or say anything that might result in the physical harm to the demonstrators. Before taking action, the Advance person must decide if the solution would cause more negative publicity than if the demonstrators were simply left alone.
[Pages 36-66 redacted]
The White House Office of Administration (OA)
While on the road, you will encounter two classifications of events: Official and Political. Official events are those that the President is participating in on behalf of the Administration. These may include Education, Welfare, Defense or any topic on which the President is introducing of advocating an issue. All costs from these events are handled by OA, regardless of the source of payment. Your OA Representative will be responsible for payment for all costs associated with the event, such as sound, light, staging, pipe and grape, bike rack, etc. It is extremely important that you collect invoices from vendors as soon as possible, allowing you and the OA Representative to review the invoice for inaccuracies and validity.
The OA Representative handles no part of and is not responsible for any cost incurred for a political event. Political events are those held on behalf of a particular candidate or office holder and typically involve fundraising activities. Federal law prohibits OA Representatives from having any participation in such events.
If you are handling the political part of a trip, the Republican National Committee will handle your per diem and expenses.
[pages 68-103 redacted]
You’re free to disagree with the White House, just as long as the President doesn’t see it, you don’t get on television, or end up with your silly picture in the paper. Then someone at the White House is going to lose their job.
Released on subpoena by the ACLU the “Presidential Advance Manual” details how White House staff should deal with protesters at rallies and speeches, namely block them out with pro-Bush “rally squads” chanting, “USA! USA! USA!”
When we stifle conflict and dissent we stop change, we stop growth; that’s something the current U.S. regime is more than fine with, and it’s the reason the U.S. people have no faith in their government.