Feel inspired to become part of the movement? We’ve collected tips for becoming a Green activist here!
ALWAYS TRY TO VOLUNTEER DOING THINGS YOU ENJOY!
- Doing tasks which make you miserable won’t be good for your mental health or your interest in staying involved
- Don’t say yes to everything – especially when you’re still finding out how you want to get involved. Volunteer for one thing at a time – and then work out if if you have time to do more
- There’s nothing more rewarding than getting involved with a serious and vibrant campaign to get someone elected – it can be quite addictive!
- Don’t forget our national liberation groups. If you’re a person of colour, LGBTIQA+, a young person or a senior Green – there’s lots to get involved with!
- Building your skills and experience is a great reason to get involved – I now work professionally in campaigning because of the experience I picked up through the Green Party
Benali is an Islington based Green campaigner. He’s the co-chair of LGBTIQA+ Greens and number 4 on the Green Party list for the London Assembly. He works for a health charity in the day and has previously worked for the Green Party and the Remain campaign.
RAISE UP THE VOICES THAT ARE LESS OFTEN HEARD IN GREEN MOVEMENTS
- Don’t wait until you feel totally ready – jump in now! The world doesn’t need 100 perfect activists who have read every single book on the subject and never make a mistake, it needs 1,000,000 imperfect activists who want to make a difference and are prepared to make mistakes and learn.
- Find your niche. There will be an area of activism that is the perfect fit for your skills and interests, where you can have a big impact.
- Raise up the voices that are less often heard in Green movements: people of colour, disabled people, people from working class backgrounds, women. If you are not in one of these groups yourself, what can you do to help them be heard?
- Take time off. Have a hobby other than activism, preferably one that uses a totally different part of your brain. For me that’s dancing.
Carla is a Green Party councillor in Bristol. In 2018 she proposed the first Climate Emergency motion in Europe, committing Bristol to go carbon neutral by 2030. This started a wave of similar motions across the country, with over 200 local authorities, plus the UK Parliament and Scottish and Welsh governments, having now declared a Climate Emergency. Before entering politics, Carla worked as an engineer in the renewable energy industry, specialising in offshore and onshore wind technology. She was the 2019 Green Party parliamentary candidate for Bristol West, and was also a candidate in the 2019 European Elections.
STICK YOUR NECK OUT!
- Campaign by your principles! Be passionate, do and say what you think, and be the change! I always think of my Green Party campaigning as having two bottom lines: making change as well as getting people to vote Green.
- Be creative! Most people think politics is boring! You hear so many references to “the party machine”. Yeeugh! Politics is about people: unleash your creativity and humanity in your campaigning – people will notice and be inspired. Cynical, mechanical campaigning saps your energy: Focus on the things that really fire you up!!
- Stick your neck out! Standing up for people and planet pits us against powerful forces. My biggest ever regret was backing down to a threatening email from an employer – I’d almost encouraged their workers to join the union and I gave into their intimidation. I missed a big opportunity to help dozens of people.
- Photograph everything! Pictures are SO IMPORTANT! Leaflets, social media etc. Hand drawn pictures also very cool. Unless you’re campaigning about something really sad, you must smile: get your eyes and teeth in there! Green Party visual identity stuff is cool.
- Include others! Ignore your prejudices. Go and ask people from different backgrounds to you to vote Green and ask them to help your campaign. If someone wants to do something – say yes! If no one offers- ask! Ordinary people are fed up with this system and want change. Most people need a spark to ignite them… that spark is YOU!
Alex Armitage is 38 and live in Dalston in East London. He works as a children’s A&E doctor and is a member of Hackney Green Party.
In 2018 he came really really close to getting elected as a Hackney councillor in a non-target ward, losing out by 1 vote in the first count, and by 21 votes in the recount. In 2019 he stood as our parliamentary candidate for the Hackney North & Stoke Newington constituency and achieved one of the top ten best Green results in the country, despite not being part of an electoral alliance.
‘I’ve campaigned on many social and environmental issues, local and global from climate to coronavirus, and from buses to breastfeeding! My biggest achievements have been helping to save the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden and getting advertising hoardings removed from in front of tenants’ windows’