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Dear Activists: Your New Year’s Resolution Should Be to Throw a Better Party
Hey, activists: By building art and play into your work, you bring energy and fun to your movement and encourage stronger bonds among participants. Song, dance and visual props make your direct actions memorable and inviting.
1. Have a Pre-Protest Planning Party
Pre-event coordination invites people who can't take part in the action to still be a part of the movement. And it lets participants get to know each other without the stress of protest day.
2. Do More Than March
Bike, kayak or rappel into your action. It's high visibility, and by using different means of transportation, you're also making a statement against our reliance on cars. Ask local rental shops to borrow equipment at discounted rates—better yet, invite them to get involved, too.
3. Get Crafty
Wheat Paste Recipe
1. Combine 1 part flour and 4 parts water in a saucepan.
2. Heat to just below a boil until it's the consistency you need it.
3. Whisk constantly to prevent clumping.
This has a shelf life of just a few days, so only make as much as you can use right away.
Papier-mache or inflatable puppets get your message seen above the crowd. They can become a mascot for your action and a defining feature in photos afterward. Get creative—but consider the weather.
How to Make a Papier-Mache Puppet
1. Use clay, foam, or bunched-up and taped plastic grocery bags to form the shape of your model.
2. Then, cover the form in plastic wrap to prevent your paper from sticking to it and layer strips of paper grocery bags dipped in paste to form the shell.
3. Cut the shell in half to remove it and papier-mache over the seam to fuse it together again. Add structural reinforcements as needed.
4. Use acrylic or water-based house paint and seal it with something waterproof for wear and tear.
5. Take a lesson from theater makeup and use high contrast colors for viewing at a distance.
6. When you're marching for miles, weight is everything. Go for light materials and keep your puppets hollow.
7. Find an old external frame backpack and cut off everything but the shoulder straps. Mount your puppet to it with PVC pipes and zip ties so you can wear it instead of carrying it.
8. PVC pipes are your best friends for building on a budget. To create curves, use a heat gun and bend them once the pipes are malleable.
4. Have a Post-Protest Deconstruction Party
Municipal trash cans stuffed with protest signs are bad public relations. Recycle them. Invite participants to join you to disassemble props and make them available to allied movements.
5. Small Direct Actions Count, Too
If big demonstrations and marching shoulder to shoulder for miles isn't your scene, get sneaky: Use light to project messages onto the sides of buildings. Get personal: Perform your own song with a portable speaker in a public space.
Make art about your movement and paste prints around town.
Reposted with permission from our media associate YES! Magazine.
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"The rapid pace of labour-saving technology brings into focus the possibility of a shorter working week for all, if deployed properly," Autonomy Director Will Stronge said, The Guardian reported. "However, while automation shows that less work is technically possible, the urgent pressures on the environment and on our available carbon budget show that reducing the working week is in fact necessary."
The report found that if the economies of Germany, Sweden and the UK maintain their current levels of carbon intensity and productivity, they would need to switch to a six, 12 and nine hour work week respectively if they wanted keep the rise in global temperatures to the below two degrees Celsius promised by the Paris agreement, The Independent reported.
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"We welcome this attempt by Autonomy to grapple with the very real changes society will need to make in order to live within the limits of the planet," Emma Williams of the Four Day Week campaign said in a statement reported by The Independent. "In addition to improved well-being, enhanced gender equality and increased productivity, addressing climate change is another compelling reason we should all be working less."
Supporters of the idea linked it to calls in the U.S. and Europe for a Green New Deal that would decarbonize the economy while promoting equality and well-being.
"This new paper from Autonomy is a thought experiment that should give policymakers, activists and campaigners more ballast to make the case that a Green New Deal is absolutely necessary," Common Wealth think tank Director Mat Lawrence told The Independent. "The link between working time and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions has been proved by a number of studies. Using OECD data and relating it to our carbon budget, Autonomy have taken the step to show what that link means in terms of our working weeks."
Stronge also linked his report to calls for a Green New Deal.
"Becoming a green, sustainable society will require a number of strategies – a shorter working week being just one of them," he said, according to The Guardian. "This paper and the other nascent research in the field should give us plenty of food for thought when we consider how urgent a Green New Deal is and what it should look like."
- Reduced Work Hours as a Means of Slowing Climate Change ›
- How working less could solve all our problems. Really. | ›
- Needed: A shorter work week – People's World ›