Mary.... loved the coffee analogy
I remember seeing picketers at the assemblies when I was a jw too. I remember thinking they were working for satan. I don't know of a single person who got out of the borg because of a picketer. They get out when they are ready to examine their beliefs, and not a moment before...and definitely not because someone holds up a sign or yells at them.
When I was manning the 800-why-1914 helpline, I once had a call from a jw who attended an assembly in CA that was picketed by xyws. Someone had put the helpline number on a sign. She screamed at me and told me that she had seen me picketing...even told me what I was wearing... and proceeded to tell me that I was nuts. Funny thing...I hadn't ever picketed in my life...and I was in Florida at the time, 3000 miles away. She didn't believe me, of course, and continued to be abusive until I finally hung up. My take away from that experience is that all xjws can be dumped on because of the careless actions of others. Whoever put the help line number on a sign didn't have permission to do so. BRCI doesn't want to be associated with protesting.
I have picketed once in my life... the Silent Lambs march on Brooklyn. I wouldn't do it again. I don't believe it is effective. The average jw will not pay a bit of attention...and if they do, they will just think you are crazy or demonized. That does nothing to help them see the truth about the truth. It just pushes them further away.