Protest For Divestement From Banks

From What Can I Do About It?
Jump to: navigation, search




Protest For Divestement From Banks
Timescale 2-3 weeks
Applicable to University Student
Impact Local, Regional"Local, Regional" is not in the list (Individual, Local, Regional, National, Global) of allowed values for the "Impact" property.
Price free

Overview

This protest focused on encouraging divestment of Sheffield Universityies Students union from supporting fossil fuel supporting banks (in this case Santander). It was a student-led campaign that focused on a small scale "die-in" to draw as much attention to this issues as possible and attract support from the student population.


Goals

The main goals of the protest were to educate students about the impacts of Santander in supporting the fossil fuel industry and to put pressure on the student's union to stop supporting Santander within the SU building.

Timeline

Week 1- After a simple proposal of the idea which was voted upon to plan further. Week 2- Plans formalised to stage a 'die-in' protest on the day of a student society fair whilst at the same time running a booth at the society fair with members signing up for different roles Week 3- topic-specific research circulated leading up to the event and occurence of the protest

Longer description

(week 1) After a simple proposal of the idea to target fossil fuel banks on campus which was voted upon at a weekly meeting of the University of Sheffield Extinction Rebellion Society the society took a week to brainstorm ideas to draw attention to the issue.

(week 2) After debating in the next weekly meeting the society voted to stage a 'die-in' protest on the day of a student society fair whilst at the same time running a booth at the society fair. An issue memebers were keen to keep in mind was drawing as much attention as possible whilst not alienating other students and being overly disruptive to their day to day. Furthermore, we also had to mindful of individual society members' schedules as students when planning the timeline of the day. As a result of these factors we elected to stage the protest over a short period of roughly an hour in the middle of the day where there would be the most foot traffic but such that it would not last long enough to inconvenience the other students we were trying to engage. Conversely, the stall within the society fair was running for the entire duration of the day and aimed to publicise not only the society itself, but the protest going on elsewhere in the building and the role of banks on campus in supporting the fossil fuel industry.

Finally in this meeting society members signed up to be directly involved in the 'die-in' or try to engage with students in the area of the protest by giving speeches or interacting with individuall or to help run the society's booth, all of which were organised in shifts using a microsoft excel document, in order to be mindful of everyone's individaul commitments.

(week 3) Leading up to the event, society members involved directly in the 'die-in' circulated specific research that they had been doing regarding Santander with soundbyte statistics to help draw attention. Additionally society members supporting the protest made signs using spare cardboard and stationary with similar messages. On the day of the protest/fair everything proceeded fairly smoothly. While we expected a response from campus security, it was communicated to them the intended length of the protest and there was no need for further action.

Tips/Comments

Delegation of small organisational roles can be very helpful when you had different groups with different roles. In my experience some activists can find it overwhelming to be asked to take on a leading/large role in a campaign so you should try to provide oppurtunities for different levels of commitment/confidence e.g. those directly involved in the protest vs. those supporting at the booth

Furthermore, especially with newer members I'd encourage holding a more informal prep session during week 2 where people can create posters/banners etc. whilst socialising as this can be a good way for everyone to get feel more welcome leading up to the protest/event.

Links

XR Sheffield website