U.S. Department of Justice


You're a




Prepared by

Community Relations Service

600 E Street, N. W., Suite 2000

Washington, D.C. 20530



You Have Been Selected…

to serve in a position of special responsibility as a demonstration marshal for an event. You are being asked to step away from being a participant and to accept the responsibility for helping the organization conduct the event and ensure the health and safety of participants. You will need to be ready and able to respond to orders given by the organizers and law enforcement, and be able to work within the chain of command. You will also need to lead the people for whom you are responsible.

Your Training and Instruction…

will be given by the organizers and should take place prior to the planned event. Information conveyed during the training will include: time of assembly; route of the march; final staging area; chain of command; dress and identification; location of water, toilets, and medical aid; responding to intruders, disrupters, and other emergencies; communication with local law enforcement; and your specific responsibilities during the event.

Your Duties

During the Demonstration…

will depend on Your assignment. There are four basic assignments of marshals: (1) A number of marshals ("captains") will accompany the march, (2) others will be assigned to the assembly and (3) staging areas, and (4) some will be assigned to critical points at the demonstration site.

If you are a captain accompanying the march, you will move up and down the line of the march communicating with volunteer marshals and participants. Captains maintain order, protect the participants, and observe activities of the participants. Captains pass instructions from march leaders to marshals and participants; inform march organizers of possible dangers; notify marshals of any activity of persons seeking to disrupt the march and arrange for medical treatment for any participants who become ill or injured.

If you are a marshal accompanying the march, you will be assigned to approximately 20 participants. You will assemble the group, arrange the participants in the desired order, and remain with this group until all activity has ended and the participants have departed the event. You will be responsible for knowing the timing and details of the demonstration; the location of water, toilets, medical aid; and disseminating this information to your group.

If you are a marshal assigned to assembly or staging areas, critical points along the march route where there may be danger to participants, or the demonstration, you will need to be in place in advance and follow the directions of the march organizers and law enforcement.

You Need to Wear…

appropriate clothing as designated by the demonstration leaders and with consideration of the weather. The organizers should supply you with special identification (i.e., a hat, armband, or badge) so you will be easily identified by participants and local law enforcement. The weather will dictate the type of clothing you need to wear. In cold weather, wear your clothing in layers and dress for temperatures 100 colder than predicted. In hot weather, wear light colored, cotton clothing, a hat and remember to bring plenty of water. If the march or the event covers an extended period of time, be sure to bring some high energy food.

Your Commitment to…

the demonstration is necessary for its success. If you doubt your physical stamina to be a demonstration marshal, inform the organizers. There are other positions that do not require intense, extended physical activity. If you think that you might have trouble remaining calm if confronted by hecklers or counter demonstrators or in working with the police during the upcoming event, reconsider becoming a demonstration marshal for this event.