This September, youth strikers have asked adults to join them on the streets to protest climate inaction. But due to work or other commitments, not everyone will be able to join them on the strike. This guide offers tips on how you can organise an act of solidarity, whether at work, university or in your community.
What might an act of solidarity look like?
An act of solidarity could be something really simple, such as taking a group photo with your colleagues or neighbours. Or you could plan a more complex activity like a lunchtime panel discussion. Whatever it is, all you really need is a group of people, a camera, and a social media account.
Here are some simple steps you can take to organise an effective activity.
Prepare and promote
Get people to help you organise your activity. Once you know the basic details of your activity (Where/When?), promote it. Send out an email with an explanation of what it is and why you’re doing it. Let the youth strikers know you’re supporting them by registering your action online.
Think about what you want your act of solidarity to look like and form a team to help make sure it looks engaging and fun. You could use our resources to make your own placards and posters. If you’re feeling creative, you could even make one of our Earth heads.
Acts of solidarity
You don’t have to do much to show solidarity, but here are some simple ideas of what you could do together:
- Give each person an A3 sheet of paper and a thick pen. Ask them to write on the paper why they are supporting the strike today. Take a photo of them holding their sign and share it on social media.
- Take a photo of your group together. If you haven’t made a banner you could write a message (like "Enfield Co-op supports the climate strikers") on pieces of paper and hold them up together.
- Encourage your group to wear green to show support for the strikers. Take a photo and share it on social media.
- If you have time to organise something bigger, you could host a lunchtime discussion about climate change, invite an expert to come and give a talk, or host a film screening.
Whatever you do though, remember to share it. You won’t show solidarity with the school strikers if they don’t know it has happened! If you need any tips on how best to do this, read our guide on using social media. In the UK we’ll be using the hashtag #ClimateStrike and #TakeClimateAction.
It’s easy to run an event and think "phew, it’s all over" when it finishes – but ideally you should do some follow up. Email those who joined you and thank them for their support. Attach photos and links to the content you generated for social media, and ask others to continue sharing content about the strikes for the rest of the day.
And don’t let the conversations stop there. If people feel energised by your action, why not arrange a follow-up meeting to talk about collection action on climate change, and see whether people are interested in forming a Climate Action group?
If you want some advice on this you can get in touch with us at [email protected] – we look forward to hearing about how you got on!