POW UK x Entry Level Activist, part 2: Activism relies on positive change and a key tool in this mission is a powerful campaign. Recognising and isolating a goal then working together in an organised and active way towards that ambition is the definition of this essential activity: in other words, campaigning is cool.
If you’ve ever engaged with initiatives like plastic-free January or meatless Mondays, you’re already getting a taste for the power of an environmental campaign. This course of action towards a necessary goal is the process by which an activist can make a difference whether that’s social, political, or in the case of winter enthusiasts, working with a heavy environmental focus in mind.
Of course, a campaign can be applied to different contexts including business (an advertising campaign) or even military activities (a battle). But for the entry level activist direction of this blog post, let’s look at social and political campaigning and how it’s changing the narrative on issues here in the UK.
Some incredible activist work has gone down over the past few months: let it inspire you.
Twenty seven year old sexual harassment campaigner Gina Martin changed the law in the UK a few months back with no legal or political experience after an experience at a festival left her frustrated and motivated enough to insist on change. British teenager Amika George’s #FreePeriods campaign and resulting online petition led the UK government to pledge millions in funds collected from the tampon tax toward initiatives to end “period poverty”. In all kinds of contexts, activism works.
Be it a hashtag, a strike, a movement or a rebellion, there are many ways to campaign.
Extinction Rebellion skillfully used civil disobedience to sound the alarm on the climate emergency by coordinating direct (and disruptive) actions across London this spring via thousands of individual activists over ten days. What’s more is that their governmental demands (which include truth telling about the scale of the ecological crisis, zero emissions by 2025 and the creation of a citizens’ assembly to hear evidence and devise policy to tackle the climate crisis) have partially been met: scores of councils and local authorities in the UK have declared a climate emergency in recent months.
Extinction Rebellion was joined in London this April by sixteen year old Greta Thunberg, the riveting climate activist from Sweden who this year has initiated mass student strikes around the world. It is humbling to know that the work of Greta as one single girl protesting outside her local parliament building has led to a global movement which has revolutionised a new approach to climate change in the context of a youth-driven emergency.
An activist is someone who campaigns for change. The more you participate in the POW UK conversation, whether that’s through meeting us an event or simply following us on Instagram, think about the different entry points for campaign in your life for environmental change and look out for more on this from POW UK in the coming months.
In the meantime: get out and act!
Faith Robinson is a POW UK volunteer navigating the world of online activism one word at a time. Founder of positive change platform Entry Level Activist, she lives in Copenhagen via London and works with Global Fashion Agenda to steer the fashion industry towards a more sustainable future. Take action by checking out the POW UK Mountain and see where you can start.