Take the Pledge to Move Beyond Fossil Fuels
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Mass march or bicycle ride
One of the best ways to demonstrate our people power is to get out into the streets—and one of the best ways to show our commitment to a world beyond fossil fuels is to move without them!
Problems to solutions
One way to make a powerful statement with your action is to pick a symbolic route—think about moving from the problems to the solutions literally by starting out at a coal plant or corporate target, and ending up at a wind turbine. Or your house of government, because they could be the solution if they do the right thing!
Many of the best actions convey their message creatively. Want to deliver a petition? Make a giant, painted box filled with the petitions. Do a streat theatre skit about better transportation infrastructure for cyclists. End your march with an aerial art piece that sends your message clearly to your local government.
Walk/bike to school/work day
A great way to get people moving
Deliver the message
Want to send a strong message? Try delivering it with hundreds or thousands of people. Write your top demand on a banner, and take it directly to whoever needs to hear it: a politician, a corporate target, or anyone else.
Long distance movement
Nothing shows commitment like a long term march or bike ride over several days, or over many miles. Think Ghandi’s Salt March, or more recently, this 5-day walk for climate action in Vermont in the US.
1. Bring together a team and register your event.
First things first—it’s more fun to organize together. Call up friends, leaders in your community or city, and allied organizations that you think would want to get involved. Host a first meeting to get to know everyone, give people a basic overview of the ideas behind Moving Planet, and start brainstorming. When you’ve got a basic idea in place, register your event on the website—this will let other people in your community find you, and give you access to all sorts of support, tools, and materials for local organizers.
2. Pick a goal and a demand.
Moving Planet is about using our collective power to call for changes to protect our climate. Think about your goals—like educating and involving a certain number of people in your community—and think about what demands you could bring to your local government, and how you might deliver the message.
3. Plan your action
Time to get to the strategy– let’s figure out how you can make your voices heard through action:
- What – will people bike or march? Or move some other creative way? Think about how to incorporate the needs and interests of your city/community.
- Where – where are start and finish locations that are easily accessible to people? What symbolic locations can be incorporated into the route, such as houses of government, problems (coal plants), or solutions (wind farm)? What route is visible to the general public?
- When – when will your action begin and end?
4. Recruit, recruit, recruit!
This step may be the most important—if a lot of people show up, it will demonstrate broad public support for you cause and goal. Set a goal for how many people you’d like to see in the streets on 24 September—and create a plan for reaching 10 times that number of people, assuming only 10% of the people you contact will actually show up. Talking to schools, religious groups, community meetings, putting up posters around town, sending emails through listservs, getting a public service announcement on the local radio, and getting on community calendars are a few ways to get the word out.
5. Organize the details
Like most organizing, you’ll have to deal with some logistics. Here are some key things to consider:
- Permits for your route
- Schedule and speakers if you’ll hold a rally at the beginning or end
- Sound, stage and other equipment
- A safety plan to protect participants from traffic
When you have all these details together, be sure to publish the key information publicly on your local website, community calendar, and fliers—key information to include would be start and end times, locations, exciting speakers, and instructions for participants.
7. Invite your leaders
If you want to make sure your leaders hear your demands, make sure you invite them out to your event! It’s important to email an invitation, and call a few days later to follow up—do it early so their schedules haven’t filled up. A few ideas for engaging your leader as a part of your event are a) asking them to speak in front of the crowd about their plans on climate change (so they have to say what they are or aren’t doing publicly), or b) ask them to sign a pledge to take on your demands. This can work especially well for candidates who are seeking election who may promise things now that you can hold them accountable to later.
8. Get creative
Artistic signs, colorful banners, and fun chants and songs are some of the best ways to get people excited for your action, and to send your message in a clear and positive way. Host a time to paint banners and signs before your action, and invite volunteers to come. Have some sample messages so that people don’t go too off topic with their signs. Come up with some fun chants or songs for the crowd to sing as you move.
9. Invite the media and BE the media!
The media is one of our most important ways to make our voices heard. It’s important to figure out early who the reporters who cover environment are at your local paper, radio station, and TV station, and try to build a relationship. A week out from your event you’ll want to send a media advisory, followed by a call to make sure they’ve received it. On the day of you’ll want to send a press release, and make another call to make sure they come out!
We also need to be the media. Capture the power of online social media to get the word out and tell the story of your organizing. Often the best way to recruit people and get your message out is to develop or use existing online communities to tell the story of your organizing and open a space for dialogue as you prepare for the big day.
10. Time to move!
On the big day, lace up your shoes or hop on your bike, and get out in the streets. Make sure you’ve delegated key roles for that day – individuals to liaise with the police, the media, to organize the speakers, to direct the marchers or cyclists along the planned route, etc. Make sure everyone speaking or being interviewed knows the key messages you’re trying to send that day, and have fun!
11. Report Back and Keep the movement moving.
After the event, we’re asking everyone to send in their photos and videos to help us create a shared story. After your media has been uploaded, take a breath, and celebrate with your team all that you’ve accomplished. Be sure to thank everyone who helped, and organize a follow-up meeting as soon as you can. Assess what went well, and what could have gone better so you can improve for the next action. Discuss what you have left to do to achieve your goals, and start planning your next steps for building the movement.
We've got lots more coming, but for now check out the flier below.