- Firstly, check our list of local groups to find out if you already have a local group, or if there's anyone else in your area who's interested in starting one.
- If not, find friends who feel as passionately about the issues as you do. If you don't have any you soon will.
- Organise a talk or debate in a nearby town - this is one of the most effective ways to give energy to a new campaign. Make sure it is well publicised. There are quite a few people who are skilled at giving talks on this issue now - contact GEN for details. At the end of the evening announce the date of the next meeting for people who want to get involved. Try to have one thing which people can do at the end the meeting eg writing a letter / announce a supermarket action.
- Try to make the group as accessible to a wide range of people - experience has shown that this issue draws individuals together from diverse backgrounds and social perspectives. Empowering people to act can mean writing letters for one person and pulling up GM plants for another. We need to respect all these roles in a local campaign.
- Keep a regular meeting place, date and time this helps to keep the focus and offers a stable place for new people who come along.
- Find allies in your area (e.g. health food shops and restaurants, organic gardeners, already active Friends of the Earth or local Greenpeace groups, etc.) Ask them if they want to get involved maybe with distributing leaflets and petitions. They might also be prepared to give a donation or put out a jar for the GE campaign costs. Larger organisations maybe able to offer work space or the use of a computer.
- Write letters to the local papers - this helps to stimulate debate within the community. Some papers have run features on GE on the back of the quantity of related mail they receive. Be careful with the media. Use them skillfully - make contacts with sympathetic journalists and trust your instincts. (GEN have available an 'activist guide to the media' written by George Monbiot it is very honest and helpful - cost �1 for photocopying and postage - if you can afford it.)
- Involve the local council and MP. Encourage them to do all they can (e.g. pushing for GE free school meals and no planting of GE crops or trials on council land. The MP can connect with other MP's who are exerting political pressure).
- Make use of what is in your local area and think about organising around this - is there a deliberate release site or a food factory for example.
- Have a regular stall in your local market or high street - this is a useful access point for new people that might want to participate in the campaign. It is also a means of information sharing. It can be valuable to have a good supply of articles to give to people. Information can empower people to fight the lies being churned out by the industry.
- Help the campaign to stay alive and interesting - if it is getting a bit dull (and even it is not) organise a colourful supermarket action or parachute into Monsanto's headquarters. People are unlikely to get bored if the group stays active and keeps doing new things. Notice if people are getting frustrated - try to find out what is going on and work together to sort it out asap!
- We suggest that you try to subscribe to 'Splice' or 'Genethics News' as both these publications will keep you abreast of the latest developments in the GE world. They go into more depth than Genetix Update - and the print is bigger!
- You can receive multiple copies of Genetix Update for your group. You will automatically get 10 copies if you are on the contact sheet. Let us know asap if you want more or less though we encourage people to photocopy their own where possible. � Make the most of GEN - let us know what you are up to - we probably know of other people in your area who want to get active and we can then let them know that you exist! And before you know it you'll have an up and running grand group! Good Luck.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead (1901 - 1978)