Only 2 days till the biggest (yet) global strike kicks off on the 20th of September. With the help of some brilliant people – they are
Caitlin Bates, Tolmeia Gregory aka @ tollydollyposh and Becky from @mothersriseup here is a collection of essential tips for first-time protesters, with or without children.
Take plenty of snack and water (know, no brainier but still). Take your own water bottle if you can to avoid buying and seek refill stations along the way.
Look up public toilets in the area where the demonstration take place before you go and use them whenever you can. Be nice to staff when using them without purchasing anything if it is a restaurant or café.
Call friends to come along with you but don’t get disheartened if no one can, you bound to make friends with other parents there
Make banners with your kids at home, it is a great way to get them involved and have their imagination fly. Look up images from previous demonstrations to get inspiration.
Don’t be all or nothing – better to go for an hour then not at all.
Have your phone fully charged and take portable chargers if you are thinking of staying longer. You never know if you need to call a cab at the end of the day or just letting your family know if you are running later due to road closures etc.
Pay attention to what is actually going on around you, within the protest. If you ever feel unsafe or uncertain, make sure to pull yourself out of that situation, even if it means leaving others behind
If you are alone and feel slightly lost and unsure, I highly recommend finding others who are in a similar boat, even if this means going out of your comfort zone and introducing yourselves to groups of strangers. Not only will this make you less vulnerable but it will also make your experience much more enjoyable – because even if protests are usually focusing on a pressing issue, they can also be a way to lift your spirits.
See if you can find a family tent or area, where you can meet up with other parents and let the children have a little more freedom.
Prepare for all weathers and know where a convenient coffee shop/museum/child friendly dry space is in case of bad bad weather!
Don’t expect too much. Often there might be talks or activities, but with kids in tow these might be tricky. Just being there is what counts, adding to the numbers. If you have to sit and read, play games, draw on the pavement with chalk (dare I say watch Peppa pig on your phone, that’s all ok. Your presence is what counts!
Use your leverage – a friend who is on the fence about coming along might be convinced to come under the premise of helping you out with your kids
If you’re taking your kids out of school, let the school know – it could be a way in for a conversation about the climate crisis with school.