Now the General Election is over, the chances are you probably want to get your voice heard now more than ever. Last week, it was announced that it’s a hung parliament between Conservative and Labour.
Essentially this means that the two parties will have to come to an arrangement with each other and form an alliance. There’s no denying that uncertain times lie ahead, but your voice CAN help.
That’s why we’ve put together a beginner’s guide to activism that will help you when it comes to getting involved with the causes you feel strongly about.
The inspiration behind the guide is Alena, the main character in a great new YA novel called ‘Troublemakers’ by Catherine Barter. In the book, Alena takes her first steps into the world of political rebellion.
Although, the story isn’t a dystopian tale (if anything the narrative is packed with relatable moments that you’ll be all too familiar with!) Alena’s newfound passion for activism reminds us of some of our fave YA heroes.
Essentially, ‘Troublemakers’ is THE book you want to read this summer. It’s also a must for anyone who wants to be a little more woke and start standing up for what they believe in.
Let’s do this!
Starting a petition
Whatever cause you’re supporting, it’s incredibly easy to start a petition nowadays. We recommending heading to petition.parliament.uk. Setting up a petition is easy and there are plenty of helpful videos like the one above that show you how the site works.
Want more good news? Well, if your petition receives over 10,000 signatures the government will respond to it. This means that it’s the strongest way to get your voice heard.
Writing a letter to an MP
One of the most direct ways you can communicate with a political party is by writing a letter to your local MP. Sure, it may sound daunting but it’s actually simpler than you think. Plus, there are heaps of online tools that coach you through the process step by step.
First you need to find out who your local MP is and how to contact them. This can be done by visiting parliament.uk. On the site, there’s a database you can search. Once you have your MP’s name, you can write them a letter using the following address:
House of Commons,
Sites like British Council will help you construct the main body of your letter and will also ensure that your point is made clearly and effectively.
Organising a protest
Many people may be put off by the idea of organising a protest, as they fear they could get arrested or in trouble for it. That’s far from the case.
Peaceful protests are 100% legal, however it is important to know certain rules that go alongside organising one. The most important thing you need to do is inform police. By law you must write to your local police 6 days before a public march, if you’re the organiser. In the letter or email you need to tell them the date and time of the march, the route of it and the name and addresses of the organisers.
Police do have the power to limit or change the route of your protest, they may also change the location or length of time of the rally. Additionally, they can limit the number of people who attend if things get out of hand and have the power to stop sit down protests if they blocks roads or public walkways.
Joining campaigning groups
You don’t need us to tell you that there are hundreds of political and social groups out there who are fighting for a cause. Here are just a few you can get involved with.
- Animal Rights UK
- Action for Greyhounds
- Animal Aid
- Animal Freedom
- PETA UK
- Nature Watch
- Save Me
- World Wildlife Fund
Environmental Rights and Climate Change
Gender Equality and Women’s Rights
- Abortion Righs
- Bird’s Eye View
- East London Rape Crisis
- End Violence Against Women
- Everyday Sexism
- Convoy Of Hope
- Global Rights For Women
- The Circle
- The Fawcett Society
- Woman Kind
- Amnesty International
- End Slavery Now
- Helen Bamber Foundation
- Human Right’s Watch
- Global Human Rights
- The British Institute of Human Rights
Be part of online activist groups
As well as joining campaigning groups, you can also join online activist groups. There’s heaps on Facebook. Simply search a cause you want to support on the website’s groups tab and you can request to join any of them.
Often they’ll post about local meet ups or rallies in a specific area. They’re also a great way to meet like-minded people.
And there we have it! Go forth newbie-activists. Let’s make a difference and try to change the world one day at a time!