How do you feel when you read that this was achieved with a public petition: “NHS and social care staff will be given free car parking during the coronavirus outbreak, after 400,000 people signed a petition urging the government to thank NHS workers by scrapping charges”. Did you sign it? Do you see yourself as an activist?
Hold up, you don’t have to glue yourself to public transport to be an activist. Well go ahead if that is what you want to do, especially if it’s for the first time and I would love to see your photos , but I’m thinking of some slightly smaller scale activities. Consider this, are you happy with everything around you in your community, your city, your country, your beautiful planet? Hmmm thought not. How about you do some quick stuff, from your phone or computer, and get involved.
First up, have you ever written to your MP? No? Know who it is? This is honestly super quick to do and what’s really exciting is that they will probably write back to you and you get some correspondence on House of Commons headed paper and you can proudly show off that you are a citizen of your country making a difference. You don’t need any posh notepaper though, look up who your MP is (search – “who is my MP”) enter your postcode into the parliament site and you’ll get a name, postal address, email and social media accounts. This is your MP and your government so tell them what you think and make your opinion count.
The other activism from home sites that I like are http://www.change.org for a wide variety of issues and http://www.amnesty.org.uk for international human rights, whilst http://www.ciwf.org.uk tackles farmed animal welfare. You can join in, pursue campaigns with them and get updates, or go lightest touch of all and simply give them money.
Or, support other people who are activists. If you follow someone then it gives greater weight and power to their voice, with little more than a click you can lend your weight to someone who is standing up on the issues you care about too. Go and search for ‘activists to follow’ and there they are, game changers who you can work alongside. Some of the numbers of followers they have is extraordinary and the politicians ignore them at their peril.
So what do I get out of this and why is it a retrieving activity? I acknowledge that what I do is small scale, but I feel good about supporting democratic rights, identifying with people whose deal in life is not so great and standing up for big or small issues where change could make a difference. I basically want to be able to look myself in the eye. Oh and possibly have a little less to apologise to my future grandchildren about.
Scoring for this is a high one for ‘do it again’, once you start there’s no stopping.