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Protesters prepare carefully to make Los Angeles splash

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- It's better to staple the posters first, and then tape. Nancy Mitchell knows.

She and her fellow volunteers look casual, but they've been working for months -- they applied for their protest permit last March. In today's protests, posters matter.

"That's really what builds a march -- going around postering, postering, postering, making tons of phone calls, calling everyone you've met in the last five years," Mitchell said.

Sloan, 19, has led an activist's life for three years  

Sarah Sloan is 19. She left school so she could lead an activist's life, and has been doing just that for three years. Sloan was in Philadelphia for the Republican National Convention.

"The demonstrations definitely had a major impact on what people saw when they looked to Philadelphia, because the eyes of the world were on Philadelphia, just like they're going to be on L.A.," Sloan said.

"The conventions are not that interesting," she added.

The cause their group -- the International Action Center -- is emphasizing here is the demand for a new trial for death row activist Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of killing a Philadelphia policeman in 1981. The posters advertise their march, planned for Sunday. So do their press conferences, with celebrities when they can get them.

"No one should be put to death without a fair trial," said disc jockey Casey Kasem. "That's what we're asking for. Please join us here, this Sunday the 13th at 12 noon for a major rally. Please be here."

Abu-Jamal poster
Posters like this one call for a new trial for death row activist Mumia Abu-Jamal  

Press conferences and posters... Always, more posters. They're running out of paper.

"We had to get 11-by-17 papers brought by volunteers from San Francisco. We couldn't get colored 11-by-17 in L.A., we bought out the stores here," said activist Ron Holloway.

Some of the people on site switch between jobs and activism. Some do both. They like what they do here.

"That just makes you feel good and gives you more energy to be able," said John Parker. "I have more energy to play with my son now, because I am political," he joked.

Sunday is the group's big day. But not the last day.

"Sunday is the big day, we're finally going to see the product of all this work," Mitchell said. "But it doesn't stop there. On each day, we want to do even more outreach and reach out to even more people and get them pulled into the movement," she said.

They believe. They'll be back.