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Ideas for Action

Whether you are a seasoned activist or a first-time organizer, here is a simple guide to get you started. Go through the steps one by one, and you'll be on your way to planning a creative, engaging, and powerful action in your community.

1) Choose an Action, Day and Location, and Register!

Part of the beauty of the International Week of Actions will be the variety and creativity of actions organized between December 27th and January 1st across the world.
Action Ideas:

  • Walk, March, or Rally: You can coordinate a solidarity march with the Gaza Freedom March and carry a banner with one of our suggested slogans like "LIFT THE SIEGE ON GAZA", "FREE GAZA" or "Remember Gaza".  You may even want to have all marchers lie down and make the shapes of the letters that spell out "FREE GAZA" at the end of the march for a great aerial image.  In San Francisco, the Bay Area Action Network for Palestine will be marching across the Golden Gate Bridge on Dec. 31. Consider marching across a bridge in your city, to symbolize building bridges rather than walls, or march to the Israeli Embassy/Consulate, the Federal Building, or another symbolic place. Don't forget a banner and a camera!
  • Candlelight vigil: Candles make a subtle and beautiful display. Find an public location (Embassy, Consulate, Federal Building -- you know your community) and read the names of Gazans, or a statement about the situation in the Gaza Strip one year after Israel's assault
  • Protest at a government office: Don't forget your Congressperson. They need to hear from you.  Only 58 brave Representatives refused to vote for the Congressional resolution urging Obama to throw the Goldstone Report on Gaza into the circular file.  Find out how your Representative voted, clicking here, inputting your Congressperson's name, scrolling to the votes of 11/3/09, and looking for House Resolution 867.  You can picket their office with signs saying "Congressman X Votes No Human Rights for Gaza.  Support the Gaza Freedom March!"  or "Congressman X -- End the Siege of Gaza.  Support the Gaza Freedom March!" or "Honk for Human Rights in Gaza."   Morning rush hour is a particularly good time for a picket with lots of passing cars. When your picket is over, take one of your signs up to your Congressperson's office and ask the staff to give it to him/her as a message from constituents.
  • Organize a film showing: For $9.95, you can get a copy of Anna Balzer's incredible DVD Life in Occupied Palestine, which provides an excellent introduction-in a down-to-earth, non-alienating way-to the occupation in Palestine. See here for more details. Another excellent film is Occupation 101, an award-winning documentary about the causes of the conflict, life under occupation, and the role of the US. You can get it for as little as $16 here. Or you can lighten it up with Slingshot Hip Hop, $25 here, a documentary about hip hop artists performing under occupation.  Click here to see more films focusing on the Gaza Strip.
  • Take Action at for boycotting corporations supporting occupation and apartheid! Ahava is hiding the ugly truth—its products actually come from stolen Palestinian natural resources in the Occupied Palestinian West Bank, and are produced in the illegal settlement of Mitzpe Shalem. Caterpillar corporation profits from Israel's apartheid wall and home demolitions.  Motorola directly supports illegal settlements and the Israeli military.for a peaceful and just future for both Israelis and Palestinians.  Plan an action at a retailer selling Ahava, Motorola or Caterpillar products.  Click here for resources on the Ahava Stolen Beauty campaign, here to order a Hang Up On Motorola campaign kit, or here to order a Stop Caterkiller campaign kit.
  • Host a house party: Eating is one of the easiest ways to bring people together (especially during a busy holiday season!). Host a dinner with food from the Middle East. Ask your friends to bring something along. Set aside a few minutes before or after the meal to explain the latest on the Gaza Strip and the Gaza Freedom March, and then link it all together with a great group photo at the dinner table.
  • Teach-In: December 27th through January 1st will be an excellent teaching opportunity! Do some online research about Gaza and invite your participants to learn more about the issue and discuss why ending the siege on Gaza is critical for international action on this issue and plans to continue working on this issue. Make a New Year's resolution to recommit yourself to the cause.  You may even want to invite an guest expert.  Click here to download the contact information for our Gaza speakers' Bureau. 
  • Faith Celebrations: Connections between the world's diverse religions and the situation in Gaza are numerous and strike a strong moral chord. This is a great way to gather people together who already have a community in which they discuss the big questions -- now is the chance to add lifting the siege of Gaza to the list.
  • Meet with Government Officials: Congress should be in recess December 22 - January 11th, making December 27th through January 1st the perfect time to set up an in-district meeting. Organizing a meeting with your Members of Congress is easier than you think, just be sure to request the meeting with plenty of advanced notice, be polite and call back if you are not hearing from them.  Please click here to use our resources for organizing your congressional meeting, including a sample meeting requests and concrete things to ask your Member of Congress for.
  • Art Installation: Provide art supplies and invite your participants to create art. If you have time and support, perhaps on a piece of land post 1450 graves with names of the dead on each one, or a name and photo (if found) of the dead mounted in an exhibition in a line that people walk through. 
  • Read a Play: SEVEN DAYS FROM A GAZA DIARY, a dramatic reading for three voices passages from the diary of Khulood Ghanem, adapted and edited by Edward Mast. Reading time: 45 minutes. A riveting personal account of the first seven days of Israel’s assault on Gaza, written by a young woman living under the bombing.  The reading is comprised of excerpts from the diary of 27-year old Khulood Ghanem, who wrote about her experiences throughout Israel's 22-day assault on Gaza this past December and January.  Please click here to request a copy of the script.
  • Do a public mural: Convene a group of artists to do a chalk sidewalk mural in a public place.
  • Make Aerial Art: Take activism beyond the brain and into the heart by hosting an aerial art event. All you need is a group of people and a camera to spell out Free Gaza or Remember Gaza.
  • Music and Poetry: Perhaps you know some local musicians or poet who might want to join the effort. Or, you could invite participants to bring instruments themselves and create music.
  • Letter writing: Encourage your participants to sign and/or write letters to government officials to end the siege of Gaza.  Use the our Congressional resources for guidance composing these letters

Some actions' uniqueness will simply be their locations - is there a place to hold your rally that is particularly important to your community, or symbolic? Examples include City Hall, Federal Building, Consulate, Embassy, community center, university, local church, statue, mosque, synagogue or national monument. Whatever your action, be sure to think about the best photo opportunity to capture your action and everyone who attends - photos are the primary way we link up actions worldwide and tell our story.

Don't forget to register your action!  Click here to register your action and let others know about your event.

2) Gather With Friends and Neighbors

Invite your friends, neighbors, and local organizations to assist in sponsoring and organizing the action. Think outside the box about who to reach out to - maybe the local church, mosque, synagogue, labor union, community center, university, or arts cooperative would be interested in getting involved in the issue. This is when it gets fun!

3) Work Out the Details
Take care of logistical details as soon as you can (this is why you want friends to help you out). Important things to consider include the timing of the action, directions, transportation, bathrooms, sound system, permits for use of public spaces, sponsorships, etc.

4) Invite Government Officials
If we want your action to have as big an impact as possible, it's essential that we reach out to our local, regional, and national leaders. Invite your local mayor, city council, city supervisors, or congressperson. You never know who might be willing to show up and be a champion to lift the siege of Gaza!

5) Spread the Word
Send out emails, write editorials for local newspapers, get on the local radio station, ask organizations to include the action information in newsletters and bulletins, and put up posters all over town.  Click here for more ideas on building a buzz around your event.

6) Make a Banner
Each action should have a banner, or some way to communicate support for ending the siege on Gaza. Some communities will hold big banners, others will spell out words with their participants, others still may make a mural together. We’re asking that everyone make their own banner – it will be great for each action to have its own home-made, local flavor, and yet to all have a common, unifying message. Just be sure to make it large and legible.  Click here for more tips on making a banner.

7) Tell the Media
It's important to contact local, state, and national media to make sure they report on the International Week of Actions in your area. Think about what print, radio, television, and blogs you'd want to have cover your event, and start getting in touch now! Click here for our resources on engaging the media.

8) Take Action
The details of your action are up to you, but at some point be sure to take a picture with everyone present with your banner displayed front and center. Have a fun and meaningful day, knowing that you're forming a very important part of a giant global movement to lift the siege on Gaza!

9) Report Back
This part is very important: as soon as your action is over, be sure to select your best photo and e-mail it to info[at]gazafreedommarch[org]org to be posted online. You might want to designate a volunteer to help with this. This is so important because we need your picture to be able to deliver the strongest possible message to the media, and to the world's decision-makers. Video footage and written stories from your action are great too, but photos are the top priority.

The important things:
* Do something public between Dec. 27th and Jan 1st.
* Register your event/action here.
* Tell the media about your action.
* Take a photo and upload it here beginning December 27th.

Thanks for being a part of this important movement for change!