- We have a variety of printable materials to support your efforts. Check them out!
- Once you have examined the 8 options and figured out the basic outlines of your event, please register your event here and promote it widely online to help you recruit organizing partners.
1. Public Pledge-Signing Ceremony
A public pledge signing ceremony can be smaller than a march or rally (although it certainly doesn’t have to be). A politician, political candidate, or very prominent community leader should sign the Pledge to Mobilize and give a short address championing a Climate Mobilization.
Last year, Iowa organizer Ed Fallon held a public pledge-signing ceremony featuring Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie, U.S. Senate candidate Rob Hogg, and State Rep. Dan Kelley. The ceremony received state-level television and newspaper coverage as well as a great write-up in the national magazine Vice and a short segment on Democracy Now.
Bay Area Organizer Kat Baumgartner has also had great success with pledge-signing ceremonies. Last year, she led a public pledge-signing ceremony with San Francisco Mayoral Candidate Amy Farah Weiss, as well as filmed private pledge-signing ceremony with Ash Kalra (at his office), a member of the San Jose City Council who is running for California State Assembly this year.
2. Host a Mobilization Teach-In
You will invite speakers to come discuss the climate emergency, and need for WWII-scale climate mobilization (NOT “climate action now!” Speakers must be clear that this event is calling for emergency mobilization, not gradualism.) Try to get a range of speakers, including religious leaders, political candidates or representatives, and scientists or policy experts. You should give a speech yourself. Have the Pledge available for people to sign. Music is a great addition. A significant effort will need to be put into turning people out.
On the June 14 national day of action last year, New York City Mobilizers held a teach-in featuring speeches by the Ven. Bikkhu Bodhi and Captain Ray Lewis, and a grand “Mobilize-elujah” performance put on by Reverend Billy and The Stop Shopping Choir:
3. Theatrical Demonstration of the Need for Climate Mobilization
If you are feeling more creative, you can hold a theatrical public demonstration calling for a Climate Mobilization. Perhaps you could hold a die-in to demonstrate the stakes of continued business-as-usual (make sure to call for a Climate Mobilization as an alternative to mass death). Or you could hold a participatory theater / role-playing scenario where spectators can participate in a mock collapse of civilization and a mock WWII-scale Climate Mobilization to understand the basic choices we face. (For best results, consult with people who have done participatory theater before!)
Last year, several Iowa Mobilizers held a “Rosie Action,” where they dressed up as Rosie the Riveter outside a Republican presidential campaign event and called for a Climate Mobilization:
In San Diego, Former Congressman Jim Bates rode his horse, Lexington, through the streets at midnight to warn of the coming climate catastrophe and to rally San Diegans for a Climate Mobilization.
There are a number of ways you could theatrically call for a Climate Mobilization. Whatever you decide to do, make sure that the message is clear that we need an immediate, WWII-scale mobilization to restore a safe & stable climate.
4. Classic Street March & Rally for Climate Mobilization
An excellent option for July 10 is holding a march, rally, or both in your city or town demanding an immediate Climate Mobilization. A great option is to start a march at a WWII memorial or otherwise relevant site in your area (such as a factory that was involved in war production in the ‘40s) and end it at a government building, where you can post a blown-up version of the Pledge to Mobilize. Speakers, including community leaders and political candidates, can rally public morale. Musical entertainment, such as marching bands, can also boost spirits.
The San Diego Climate Mobilization Coalition held multiple successful marches and rallies calling for a Mobilization last year. Their events featured community leaders, including former Congressman Jim Bates and a local judge. Click here to watch Derek & Nancy post the Pledge to Mobilize on the San Diego Federal Building at the first march for Climate Mobilization ever, on March 14, 2015, which included about 400 San Diegans marching for Mobilization.
To organize a substantial rally (hundreds or thousands of people), you will need to immediately establish a local TCM chapter in your area and hold weekly planning meetings starting very soon.
There will have to be a significant effort dedicated to turning people out. Speaking to individuals and groups of people about the need for WWII-scale climate mobilization will help boost turnout, as will reaching out to other climate organizations in the area and asking them to co-sponsor, inviting their membership, or both. (However, in collaborating with other groups we need to be sure not to water down our message.)
5. Occupy a Politician’s Office or Event to Demand a Climate Mobilization
As you prepare for July 10th, you should contact the offices of major national politicians in your area to ask them to attend your event and to sign the Pledge to Mobilize for Elected Leaders & Candidates. Hopefully, the politician will be responsive, and you can educate him or her about the climate crisis, and he or she will sign the Pledge to Mobilize. (Then see option 1 and have a public signing ceremony.)
If, however, a politician or his/her office is completely non-responsive to requests (or even actively hostile), it might make sense to directly confront them by occupying their office. If you choose to do this, you may need to schedule the action on a weekday, such as Monday, July 11th.
One scenario is that you could hold a rally outside the politician’s office calling for a Climate Mobilization, and those Mobilizers willing to potentially risk arrest can enter the politician’s office with a blown-up version (28 x 36) of the Pledge to Mobilize, and remain there until the police arrive.
You will want to make sure to covertly notify the media ahead of time, and invite political candidates who are challenging the politician in this year’s election to attend the rally or direct action.
You could also disrupt a political candidate’s event to champion a Climate Mobilization. Last year, a group of Mobilizers dressed as Rosie the Riveter and disrupted a Donald Trump rally in Davenport, IA. They were pushed around by Trump supporters before they voluntarily left the rally. Watch the video of the action here:
6. Disrupt Business-as-Usual to Champion Mobilization
In 1989, several dozen AIDS activists blockaded the Golden Gate Bridge during morning rush hour to draw attention to the need for a federal response to the crisis. Such disruptive direct actions are more likely to provoke intense controversy, attract media attention, and result in arrests than many of the other options listed here. Another option might be to illegally rally for a Climate Mobilization inside your local shopping mall.
If you are interested in engaging in such an action to call for Climate Mobilization, beware that you may potentially be at risk of bodily harm, jail time, or both.
Patrick Mazza, a member of the Delta 5 direct action team, has agreed to offer assistance to anyone who wishes to commit civil disobedience on July 10 in order to highlight the urgent need for an immediate WWII-scale climate mobilization to restore a safe & stable climate. We can put you in touch with Patrick as well as the Climate Disobedience Center if you are seriously considering engaging in climate disobedience on July 10.
7. Community Mobilization Festival
One fun but labor-intensive option is to hold a single-day or multi-day indoor or outdoor festival calling for a Climate Mobilization. It would feature artists, entertainers and speakers demonstrating in various ways the need for a Climate Mobilization. It could also feature booths and hands-on demonstrations that allow people to share tips for how they can mobilize their personal lives and communities in response to the climate crisis. Beware: This will take a lot of work and will almost certainly require fundraising on your part!
Check out this video of the awesome breakdancing and music from Captain Viejo at the historic March 15, 2015 San Diego march & rally for Climate Mobilization:
The festivals could harken back to the turn-of-the century Chautauqua assemblies that were used by Populist and religious reformers to educate rural communities. To read a short & informative history of the Chautauqua movement from the University of Iowa library, see here.
For a helpful explanation of how to organize a modern Chautauqua - or Community Education Festival – see this Canadian handbook from the ‘80s, “Chautaqua is Back: How to Organize a Community Education Festival.” But remember: The main theme of the festival should not be “climate education” or “climate action.” It should be WWII-scale climate mobilization to restore a safe & stable climate. So, in that sense, the Community Mobilization Festival you hold should be much more focused than the Chautauqua assemblies of the past.
8. Come up With Your Own Action or Event!
But please make sure the explicit theme is a demand for a WWII-scale Climate Mobilization to Restore a Safe & Stable Climate! Also, please send your idea to Ezra@TheClimateMobilization.org for feedback.