Added your love to the ‘For the love of...’ petition yet? Yes? Good! Now let’s take this waaay beyond ourselves! Street stalls are one of the best ways to increase the amount of people we reach with our campaigns, and the voices we capture speaking up for justice. It’s also a great way to raise our profile and build up our local networks.
The ‘For the love of...’ climate campaign in particular is about making the voices of as many people as possible heard speaking up against climate change – politicians already know that activists care about polar bears blah blah blah; what they perhaps need to hear is that the ordinary person in the street is worried their local football pitch will become unusable in future winters due to increased flooding, or that pizza will become a rare treat if global wheat and tomato harvests fail, or that their relatives in Bangladesh risk losing their homes in the near future...so let’s think how we can best capture those voices!
Practical – what you need:
- A table
- A banner to say who you are and/or what you’re doing
- Relevant resources
- Stationery – including stuff like paperclips, string, tape, paper weights etc to stop stuff flying away if it’s windy!
- Sign-up sheet so interested people can find out more from you
- Postbox of some sort if doing postcards
- Camera – especially if you’re doing the photo petition!
- Water to drink (or a flask of something hot and Fairtrade if the weather’s cold!)
- Phone so you can tweet your stall
- People! If you’re on your own, you can still do a street stall – try approaching another group involved in the same/similar campaign and see if you can work with them to run a stall. (Eg many other charities and environmental organisations are also part of the Climate Coalition so will/should be running the ‘For the love of...’ campaign – you could be the one to make them take a street action!)
Getting permission: councils vary – most require permission for street fundraisers, but many allow campaigning. Speak to other local groups in your town who do street stalls to find out how they got permission, or if you don’t know any, ask your council directly. Universities – again it varies – ask your Union, and join up with another group that already has permission if you find you can’t do it yourself, eg. the chaplaincy or a society.
Dos and don’ts –
- Have a visual hook to get people to come over and take a look
- Have a super-short ask to interest passers-by – practise between yourselves beforehand to see what you reckon will work best!
- Stand in front of your stall and invite people in
- Have a sign-up sheet to take down contacts of interested people
- Drink water, and wear sunscreen if it’s sunny – look after yourselves
- Have something kids can take part in (this is great as you can chat to their captive parents about the campaign whilst their kids have fun!)
- Sit down if you can help it
- Look bored
- Get into arguments/long tangents with people who are not going to take action, just try to politely move them along (‘I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree on this! Do you mind if I attend to this other person now please?’)
- Have too many actions on one stall so you have too much to explain
- Have too many different bits of paper, which look messy and get confusing for people
- Fundraise without permission – we’d love you to fundraise, but don’t get in trouble!
We’d love more pictures sent in as part of our Pray&Post photo petition to make this really visual – but the main thing is to capture people’s voices. So if that doesn’t work for you on your stall, maybe think of another creative way you could get people sharing their ‘loves’? Here’s one example – I got my local FoE group to do the action and we got people to fill a big heart-shaped outline with colourful heart-shaped cards that said people’s ‘loves’ on one side and had the petition form on the back of each to fill out. But be creative!
Finally – take photos! Photos are mega useful for social media, conventional media (write a press release about what you did/are planning! Get in touch with us if you need advice), your own group’s publicity and also Volumize/Network e-news – send them in to SPEAK so we can share your ideas with other groups!
Go get ‘em! :)