HOW-TO GUIDE FOR ORGANISING A GATHERING, MARCH OR FLASH MOB

GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION 26th JUNE 2021

A public gathering, protest, parade or march can be a visually striking and attention-grabbing way to highlight your issues as part of the SUPPORT DON’T PUNISH campaign. They are opportunities to engage the public, to gain media attention, and to get a response from policy-makers. They are also relatively simple to coordinate in terms of costs and effort. “Flash Mobs” have increasingly been used for advocacy in recent years, and involve a large gathering of people who then “spontaneously” engage in an unusual act – such as a choreographed dance or song, cheering or booing, or freezing like statues. Many countries have held actions like this in the past, across all continents. 

Below are some of the recommended steps and tips for running a successful gathering, march or flash mob event this year: 

1. GATHER PARTNERS 

Reach out to other local organisations and individuals who are interested in the campaign – especially networks of people who use drugs or other affected populations. Organise a meeting or a call to agree the plans, agree the roles that different partners will take, and identify a lead person for coordination. Ask everyone to visit our website, Facebook page and Twitter account to familiarise themselves with the campaign. 

2. CHOOSE YOUR MESSAGE 

Under the broad umbrella of the SUPPORT DON’T PUNISH campaign, what is the more specific call that you want to make locally? We encourage you to use the campaign to enhance existing advocacy work: do you want to support or open local harm reduction services, call for changes to the national drug laws, or raise awareness of the harmsfacing people who use drugs? Use the mostappropriate campaign logo, or contact us ifyou would like a different design ortranslation.

3. CHOOSE YOUR LOCATION

For the greatest results, you want to choose a safe location that is an important-landmark or picturesque place of interest, and/or relevant or symbolic for the issues-being raised–such as a place where drug-related harms are known to be prevalent, or aSpain, June 2016policy-making building such asthe local parliament. Picking the right location(s)can becrucial for gaining media and public interest–but note thatsome placesprohibitgatherings ofthiskind orrequire a license or advance notice.Set a time that isconvenient formost supporters,but ideallyone that also fits withlocal media deadlines for coverage the nextday (or thatevening).

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