A ‘campaign pack’ to help people protest against austerity is being launched by BASW and SWU today, drawing on lessons learned from a 100-mile Boot Out Austerity walk in April.
The step-by-step guide outlines everything from how to organise public meetings, rallies and awareness-raising film nights, to setting up petitions, lobbying and contacting the press.
It contains templates for writing letters and information to ensure organisers meet legal requirements in areas such as copyright, licensing and data protection.
Participants on BASW and SWU’s Boot Out Austerity walk trekked from Birmingham to Liverpool to highlight how cuts were affecting people, particularly the most vulnerable.
BASW chair Guy Shennan said the walk attracted huge support, showing the strength of public feeling against the economic policy.
“It was clear to us then that we couldn’t stop; that we had to use the energy that had been produced to continue because even with the shift in public mood, austerity measures continue.
“People’s lives are blighted. Disabled people continue to suffer. We had so much knowledge from Boot Out Austerity that could contribute to future campaigning and we had the idea to put our knowledge together.”
Shennan said the campaign pack was a practical guide to “turn Boot Out Austerity from a small band of walkers into a large-scale movement”.
It has been launched with a public meeting at the University of Salford – an area where Walter Greenwood set his novel about working class poverty in the 1930s, Love on the Dole.
SWU general secretary John McGowan said the pack helped give opportunity for campaigning experience.
“The polls tell us that people power is on the rise,” he said. “Being an activist can be difficult, it can be stressful, it can be very challenging, but it is incredibly rewarding. This pack is a wonderful opportunity to be more active.”
To download the Austerity Campaign Action Pack click here