First time strikes and seasoned veterans, gather round. With a whole year of strikes coming up to usher in a new decade, we're not pulling any punches for our anniversary strike in February. To prepare, here are some tips to get you geared up to take to the streets on Valentine's Day and every other strike this year.
Check the weather! We'll send you a forecast and reminder via email the day before each strike if you're subscribed, but if you're not, be sure to be prepared by ensuring you know exactly what you're dealing with!
Get your poster ready! We've got a comprehensive guide to your protest posters here for any obstacles you may encounter.
Pack the essentials: a refillable water bottle, sweet and salty snacks, sunblock, a portable phone charger, any medication you might need, and a bust card – a small piece of paper with advice about your legal rights.
And of course, your outfit. We get that you want to stand out, and we encourage it! We love the creativity people pour into their outfits and placards, see one of our personal favourites here. However, England is far from the sunniest place, and we want you to be comfortable. Pack layers, a raincoat! Backpacks are the best storage for your essentials. Wear your comfiest shoes!
ON THE DAY
Set up a meet-up point with your friends: Generally, we get about one hundred strikers every national strike, but our last global general strike got over eight hundred people! In situations such as these, it can be hard to find your friends. It's better to meet before than try to meet in the middle of loads of people, even with the power of texts and calls. Leading on to the next point...
Make sure your phone is charged! We don't anticipate needing to urgently call for help but being at a peaceful protest is a great experience, and most people would like to take pictures or videos. (We'd love to see any pictures you take too! You can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Make friends with other people skipping school! Protests are serious things with serious aims, but they’re also chances to have some fun. Don't know anyone there? Any of our stewards (anyone wearing a high vis jacket) will be happy to have a chat before the strike or direct you to some friendly people!
Ask: No one expects you to know everything. Want to know the march route or when we'll be marching? Want to know what we'll be doing after the march? We have a dedicated team of stewards who will be happy to help, and they can also direct you to our coordinator if you'd like to speak to him directly.
Look and listen: If at any time you feel you need to pull out for any reason, eg. hunger, dehydration, or just generally feeling unsafe, please do. We have trained first aiders who can help in case of a medical situation, and if you'd later like to rejoin us, you can approach someone and ask where we'll be going. After all, you can't look after the earth without looking after yourself first!
Need to pee? This was a personal terror our first time organising a protest, back in the baby days of 2019. Thankfully, many shops in town will be willing to let you use the bathroom. Worst case scenario, you might need to buy something from a cafe to gain access to their bathroom.
And above all, stay calm. It's easy to feel overwhelmed, not just by protesting but by the gravity of the climate situation. By coming to the strikes you're playing a part, and hopefully, in the future, the world will thank you.