On April 16th the Action Resource Team went to The People’s Assembly against Austerity march for Health, Homes, Jobs, Education. Joining the march was the first major outing of the Action Resource Team, a not-so-local local group I’m starting for supporters to join in from anywhere to create more ways to take action to talk about Positive Money. We had an amazing time – and I want to invite you to join us!
I’m telling you – they need to rename ‘marches’. ‘March’ – does it make you think of a long slow trudge? But this is more like it:
In a nameless underground tunnel on my journey home after going on The People’s Assembly march, Ninu the busker’s music was so good that people were dancing their way through the Tube. I stopped to take a recording, because it felt so much like the soundtrack to the day we’d just had.
They call it a march, but bounce in my step doesn’t cut it. Ninu and I even had a hug!
Positive Money at the People’s Assembly March – the story of a first time action organiser
I’d never been to a march before, or really organised anything much, and it all started with a mad scramble.
After a week crammed full, with a new job and long commute, it was only Thursday when I properly got my act together. ‘Bugger it’, I thought, ‘I’m gonna make this happen.’
My first pro tip: stop reading the internet, just phone the march organisers. It turns out that’s all it needs to give you confidence. The People’s Assembly team gave me an awesome pep talk in how to come down and ‘set up a table’ for Positive Money.
But ‘setting up a table’? It still seemed terrifying beyond all reason. (Fingers crossed I’m not the only one who might have felt the same!) So, I went with a strategy I understand: I panicked and ordered everything cheap and purple I could find on the internet. We ended up with a bizarre and confusing collection of purple objects – tablecloths, paper plates, an umbrella and two wooden broom handles I had picked up on my commute, 99p each.
It’s strange how comforting two enormous wooden sticks can be in a new situation – I now felt we had back up.
We had a plan. We had a time to meet. We had sign up sheets and as many clipboards as I could borrow, beg and steal. The next stage of our table plan went a little wonky – by the time we met at a cafe, it was all a bit too exciting to get to the table spot on time. Alexis and Charith were already gathering sign ups!
So table abandoned, we got industrious with double-sided sticky tape and made our tablecloth into a DIY banner! And the results? The proud Action Team, me, Lesley, Alexis, Charith and Alexis, decked out in streamers with our banner at the march!
We had an amazing day. Rather than being intimidating, it turned out that a march is an amazingly low risk situation. Between three of us asking for sign ups, we got 122 new people involved. Of all the people we spoke to over the whole day, only 10 people turned us down.
It was a perfect testing ground to learn how to talk about Positive Money. As someone who still doesn’t feel that confident talking about the money system but really wants to, I still found I could do it – I just tried out a tack talking to someone, and then got to try again just a few steps away.
Soon I was doing and learning as I went. I discovered the little practical things that make a huge difference. For instance, as person after person signed up for the Positive Money mailing list, I asked to shake their banners to free their hands up and it felt amazing to be sharing support for each other.
By the end of the day Lesley and I were recruiting photographers and people wanted to pose for positive pictures with our purple paper plates. It was madness, but a good sort of madness.
Big thanks to Conor Pitcher Photography
And after the march?
On the tube on the way back from the march, with the team’s triumph and Ninu’s soundtrack still buzzing in my ears, I noticed afresh all the ways in which money and banking appears in our lives. On Tube adverts, contactless cards, in full-scale posters proclaiming Lloyds is with you for the journey.
Spotted on my journey home – Lloyds Bank taking the credit for gay marriage.
And it gave me inspiration. Money is everywhere; that means so are opportunities to inspire people to think about it. That night my brain went nineteen to the dozen – I couldn’t sleep for ideas – some good, some bad, some amazing (if I do say so myself), all doable with people who are up for taking a risk.
With the action team I hope we’ll get creative with opportunities, get out there, and learn as we go.
How to join us?
Join the Action Team from anywhere to help plan creative actions, test out simple ways to communicate Positive Money, hear about training, design games, courses and resources and experiment with new ideas! We’ll be running regular online calls, meetups and a mailing list of lovely doable things! Or follow us to hear about new ideas as they happen and be invited to events.
Email Ali at helloPMaction@gmail.com or like us on Facebook.
Join us on Saturday July 23rd for:
A day of games, community and ideas to answer the burning question: Why can’t we afford to live here, in our homes? Free games and talks from movements to make money, homes and energy for everyone, not just the 1%.
Co-hosted by Positive Money Action Team and Fuel Poverty Action.
Part of the Spark Festival in London, a completely free festival of ideas, discussion, art, performance and more looking at how we can bring about positive change here in the UK and around the world.
Help spread the word by sharing the message below:
Why can’t we afford to live in our homes? Free games and talks from movements to make money, homes and energy for everyone, not just the 1%. Sat 23rd July http://bit.ly/29y1fRe