As well as getting involved in formal politics, you can take direct action yourself if you want to get things changed.
This is generally much easier than in person.
Because it’s so easy, there is a lot of online campaigning. Unfortunately this means that people can become bored and don’t really care or react to much of what they see.
If you want to campaign for something that matters to you, think what you can add to what is already there, and how you can actually get something to happen. If you want other people to take action, try to engage positively and constructively with them, rather than battering them with lectures or dire warnings.
The simplest form of online campaigning is to share posts on social media; always make sure that you understand what you are sharing, so you don’t find yourself supporting something that turns out to be dodgy or fake.
If you feel confident enough, you can add your own comments on websites or social media, or even start your own campaign: but be very careful – don’t get involved in issues unless you really understand all the implications, don’t be rude (and don’t be upset if people are rude to you); and keep yourself safe.
If you want a change in the law or Government policy, you could start or sign a petition; if a petition gets 10,000 signatures, it gets a response from the Government; if it gets 100,000 signatures it is considered for a debate in Parliament.
To be effective, a petition or campaign should be about something definite and particular; it should be clear about what it wants to happen, and what it wants to happen must be realistic.
Campaigning in person
This is much harder, but might have more impact, especially if you are a confident speaker; messages can be lost or ignored in the constant bombardment of social media.
Possible ideas are:
- Presentation in class or even at a school assembly (obviously check with relevant teachers first)
- A presence at local fairs or markets
More generally, you can raise awareness (which might lead to action) just by talking to people you know. See more about effective communication here. As always, you will get much further if you show respect for other people’s views, and try to engage with them positively and constructively. People don’t like being told off or made to feel stupid.
Campaigning with others is easier than campaigning by yourself and can be very rewarding. You can become a member of a political party or charity or other organisation if you share their aims, and support their events and activities; or you can join in one-off marches, demonstrations or events that you feel inspired to support. As always, know what you’re talking about, and keep yourself safe.
See our other ideas on how to change the world: