How to organise your own 'strike'

If you’re not near an organised strike, and there aren’t any young people interested in organising a strike in your area, that doesn’t mean you have to stay at home. Here are some tips on how to organise your own ‘strike'.

30 Aug 2019

Preparation

Get people to help you organise your strike. You’ll have an idea of which of your friends or group members are great people organisers and rabble raisers, or who is good on social media or good with a camera. Get people involved from the beginning and encourage them to take responsibility for a certain area of work.

Think about where you will hold your strike – ideally it will be somewhere accessible and recognisable where plenty of people can join, like outside your town hall, and will be scheduled to happen at the same time as the other strikes.

You don’t need permission to organise a peaceful protest in a public space but just remember to be considerate of other people who use the area. Make sure you’re not going to make pedestrians step into the road and that there is space for wheelchair users to get by. Once you’ve planned the basics of your event let us know about it so we can give you extra support.

Register to let the students know that your stunt is taking place.

Promotion

Now that you’ve pulled together the basic details, you should start to publicise it.

You could do this by putting up posters around your town and placing leaflets in community spaces or cafes – we've created editable posters and leaflets that you can easily adapt for your event.

You could also use our social media resources to let people know that there will be a strike in their local area. Create a Facebook event, invite your friends and share it with groups that you know might be interested.

We’ve also created a template press release you can use to let your local press know that you’ll be striking and encourage them to cover your event.

Visualising

Think about what you want your strike to look like and work with others to make sure it looks engaging and fun. You could use our resources to make your own placards and posters. You could even make one of our earth heads.

Don’t feel you have to stick to these resources though. If you’ve got ideas and feel inspired – go for it! Just keep in mind the following things:

  • You're striking to show support with young people around the world who have been leading the way on this – your stunt should reflect this
  • People, especially in the global south, are already suffering the effects of the climate crisis – when we fail to reflect this in our communications we make them invisible. Try to make sure that you remember this international aspect of climate justice in your strike prep and don’t just concentrate on the future effects of climate breakdown.

Giving people something to do

You might be content to assemble and simply stand together for your strike, but you could also think about more interactive ways to keep people occupied.

Here are some ideas of things you could do during your strike:

  • 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.
  • Got a big crowd? Why not lead them in some chants. You could use the call and response refrain ‘What do we want?’ ‘Climate Justice’ ‘When do we want it? ‘Now’ but you could come up with your own.
  • Take a photo of your group together. If you haven’t made a banner you could write a message (like ‘Bridport supports the climate strikers’) on pieces of paper and hold them up together.

Have a conversation

Be prepared to use this event as an opportunity to reach out to new people – both passers-by and attendees.

We’ve created editable posters and flyers that you can use to tell people about your next group meeting.

You could also hand these out to any new people who join your strike but make sure you have a chat with them as well. It might be that they are a seasoned campaigner, deeply involved with other groups, or they might be brand new to the movement. It doesn’t matter – make sure you’re prepared to network. You might make links in other groups or you could end up with new group members.

Get contact details if possible so that you can follow up with an email later and invite them along to your next group meeting. You can use our GDPR compliant sign up sheet to help you do this.

Share, Share, Share!

Your strike won’t have shown solidarity with the youth strikers if they don’t know that it has happened – so you need to make sure that you can share the fruits of your labour on social media. Remember, if that sounds daunting to you someone else will probably be thrilled with the idea of taking on twitter – you just need to find them and point them in the right direction!

You can read our guide on how to use social media if you'd like some tips. The hashtags we’ll be using for the strike are #ClimateStrike and #TakeClimateAction.

If you let us know we might also be able to promote you on the day.

Wrap up

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 the people who attended and thank them for joining you, ideally with photos and links to your social media. This is also the ideal opportunity to remind them about the intake event that you’ve got planned!

Climate Action
Climate Action