When it comes to the strike, what's the best thing to do? It depends – it might involve taking a full day off work, joining a demo on your lunchbreak, or posting support for the strike on social media. Quakers in Britain staff are coming up with different ways of marking the strike, suited to whether they usually work in hospitality, the London office, or remotely.
If you are wondering what strike-day actions might work for you, here are some ideas to help you get started...
1. Be led by young people
The global climate strike has been inspired by the youth strikes for climate; in Britain, the strike is being led by the UK Students Climate Network (UKSCN). Many young British Quakers are involved in UKSCN and the school strikes. Activists like Anya Nanning Ramamaurthy, a seventeen-year-old Quaker, have been clear about how they see the climate crisis, why they are taking action, and what they hope peers and elders will do. Listen to what young people are asking of you, and act accordingly.
'Faith groups have much to offer the movement for climate justice. We can speak out with moral clarity, reach across difference, speak with both love and conviction. But the climate movement has much to offer our faith too. It's an opportunity to come together, with purpose, helping others to see our vision for a just world.'
- Anya Nanning Ramamurthy, Quaker climate activist
2. Support the strikers
Protesting isn't just about protesting. You need time and space to prepare, whether that's readying yourself mentally or putting the finishing touches to a banner, and you need a place to regroup afterwards or even take some time out.
During the climate strike, there will be a dedicated room for protesters at Friends House in London, with free tea, coffee and water throughout the day. Not everyone has a big spare room, but perhaps there are other things you can do to support strikers – bringing along refreshments to the local demo, perhaps, or share pictures on your social media accounts.
3. Support other staff
Lots of people, for various reasons, can't easily walk out on their job for a day. But we don't want to say that only people in certain jobs can strike, so we're inviting colleagues to offer to cover for other staff as an act of solidarity. Is there something that you could do so that others can act as their conscience leads them?
There will be marches and demonstrations on the day, across the UK and beyond. They can be a great way of showing that you care about something, enough to give up your normal life for a day, and are a potent visual symbol of concern. You can find your nearest demonstration – or set up one of your own – on the UK Youth Climate Network website.
There are lots of groups and individuals who are doing the things we need to avert climate breakdown. Use a strike day to support what they do, or take an action that they recommend. Perhaps you can register as a volunteer for an environmental charity, or insulate your home for the winter, or help out at a community garden for the day.
There are many things that need to be done to confront our climate crisis, and they need to be done by human hands.
6. Promote the strike
If your decision to go on strike puts your business, service or meeting house out of commission for the day, make sure to tell everyone why! Posters and social media posts are great ways to communicate your values to would-be clients. Perhaps some will be moved to mark the strike day in their own ways too.
Like any mass action, the climate strike will have more impact if more people are involved, so let's do what we can.