Now the hard work begins
There is a large swath of people in this country that believe that if anything is to change that marching will achieve it. It is a hope i once shared, and one i understand and wish were true.
We believe, though, that these moments are nothing more than symbols of our anger and upset, and representations of our determination to change the way things are. As we saw with the CND marches of old, the Stop the War Marches, the Campaign against Climate Changes, and many others consigned to the dustbin of history, marching has never been enough.
A symbolic action of gravity is occupation. A symbolic action of rage is vandalism. A symbolic action of solidarity is marching.
It is important to understand that these are symbolic actions.
Now comes the real work. for those who haven’t already been struggling and toiling over the past months and years, it is now that we need to get organised.
We have to protect that which is under attack, and go beyond this. We need to create alternatives and take control of our own lives and our communities lives.
Here is a simple 3 step program that we suggest, to be added to and filled in with your own desires for justice and your own imagination.
1. Speak to your community. Chat to people in your area, people at your favourite football club, your workplace, your school or Uni. Maybe get them to fill in a questionnaire to start the conversation (more later). Ask them what angers them about the cuts and what they’d like to about it.
2. Find your priority. Base it an overall picture of what you want, but if you want to protect a local community centre, a library, save sure start funding or protect the NHS, find what it is you want to concentrate on.
3. Organise to save it and take control – not for profit, but for the community. If it is a national thing link up with national groups around the country, or found your own.
Petition, write letters, raise money and raise the profile of your cause in the local and national press and use social media like facebook. Do not get disheartened if these things don’t work (they rarely do), during this time build up your plans and group to take direct action.
When all options have been exhausted occupy, strike or creatively protest continually. Do not give up. Do not get disheartened. Learn from your mistakes and celebrate others success. Keep going. Together we will win.
Our time will come…
Not everyone is the most confident of conversationalists. With a simple ten point questionnaire you can find out what people think, engage them with questions that they hadn’t considered, start a conversation about the big issues around the cuts and leave them with information on how to follow up (where to get more info, how to action, etc).
The most important thing about this is that everyone in your group can do it, and if you only chat to ten people each, but there is ten of you in your group you have then talked to 100 people that you might have never done before.
Finally it is a good way to introduce yourself to the neighbourhood.
Soon there will be some practical examples of questionnaires that have already been used.
Using facebook events to spread messages is one easy tip. Making videos for you tube instead of just writing is another. These should not really be seen as organising tools but as information sharing. organisation still comes down to the dull every day meeting, flyering and talking face to face that is the hard graft. Nonetheless having a phone, email address, faceboook account, twitter, website and i think soon, youtube channel, is a must for those who want to communicate effectively. Find guides on how to here.