In today's world there seems to be a protest about something almost every day. Most have valid reasons for doing so. Believe me, I think protests are one of the most important forms of public expression we have.
Sit. Give interviews to the press. Speak calmly and stay on message.
I would suggest that whats needed is an artists point of view. More precisely an "art activist" who uses their creativity and art to steer public opinion on the issues. By embedding a creative mind that can brainstorm scenarios for protesters, the issues stay foremost and is not lost in an ever decaying mob mentality.
Just because someone is protesting something unjust, does not mean that some planning should not take place. Yes, there will always be those who think with their emotions first and violence and even death will ensue. But if a core group stands calm in the center such as Reverend King did, then the possibilities are unlimited. He was not only a hero because he stood for a cause. He was a hero because he steered the troubled hearts who were wounded by bigotry and hate. He was a hero because he thought through situations logically and creatively.
Look at dissident artist Ai Weiwei to see what a modern artist can do to bring public awareness to an unjust situation. His work in bringing awareness to the crisis of refugees has done more than any other to make people take notice.
We can make a difference locally. It does not have to be on a national or international scale that we set our eyes as artists on. We do not have to save the world if we can save our own neighborhood.
The bottom line is that artists can change the world and they can be a guiding influence in today's tumultuous issues if they do so with wisdom and calmness. If all you want is to draw trees for the rest of your life then so be it. I for one wish to make a difference and do so through the one skill I know I have and can always count on, my creativity. I encourage others to do the same.