by bex Mar 27th, 2015
Tomorrow at 11am, hundreds of 38 Degrees members are hitting high streets and town centres across Scotland – it’s set to be a fantastic day.
Together, we’ll collect thousands of signatures telling our MP candidates to scrap the dodgy TTIP trade deal. If everyone who’s signed up collects 60 signatures, we could push the total number on the petition to 50,000 – that’s a force politicians can’t ignore.
At the bottom of this post is a set of useful questions and answers which should cover everything you need to know about the day. You can also check the details of the event near you, and chat to other 38 Degrees member going along by clicking this link here.
Its scary to think what could happen in Scotland if our MPs allow TTIP to pass – it could mean further privatisation of our public services and our government being sued by profit-hungry corporations. But if we push this message out to friends, neighbours and locals across Scotland, we could force politicians to rethink.
Through people-power, we’ll be sending a clear message to all candidates hoping to be our MPs: if they want our votes this election, they need to protect our public services and scrap TTIP.
See you on the streets!
What will happen on the day?
38 Degrees members are coming together to tell as many people as possible about this dangerous trade deal. We’re going to meet on our local high street and collect signatures to build up the local petitions that tell our MP candidates to stop TTIP.
One 38 Degrees member (- the person who set up an event!) from every event has been sent a big pack of petition sheets and flyers. They’ll have these materials with them on the day so there should be enough for everyone to hand out. But if you want to print out extra petition sheets and leaflets, click here.
What if I don’t fancy meeting up with other 38 Degrees members to collect signatures?
That’s fine! If you don’t want to meet up with other 38 Degrees members, you could still print out your own materials and get the word out.
You could post the leaflets through the letterboxes on your street and collect signatures on your own. Some 38 Degrees members have been gathering signatures as part of their normal routine – in the local supermarket, at work, or in book groups, gym classes or playgroups!
Is there anything else I should take?
Here’s a checklist:
Petition sheets (if you want to print extra)
Leaflets to hand out (if you want to print extra)
A camera or smartphone if you have one to take pictures and share what’s happening on social media, or emailing the 38 Degrees office team
Any posters or placards you’d like to make and take
A warm coat and hat!
Will there be a 38 Degrees staff member there?
There won’t be a member of the 38 Degrees staff team at your local event, but there should be other 38 Degrees members there. You can click here to see how many people are signed up to take part.
I’ve not done anything like this before – any tips?
Lots of people will have done this before and lots will be doing it for the first time. Use each other for support. Whatever your level of experience, there’s a few basic things to keep in mind.
The first is to make sure you’re being respectful to everyone you meet and to keep yourself safe at all times.
The second is to have fun and be proud! Talking to people in your community and leafleting on an important issue you care about is fantastic. Whether you’re part of a big group with a market stall in a town, or walking your own street letterboxing in your village, you’re part of a much bigger movement to stop TTIP.
What sorts of things should I say when stopping people on the street?
It can be a little nerve wracking approaching strangers on the street, so it’s good to think about how to start up the initial conversation. Try a few different approaches with your group and share what happens! Here are some opening lines you could try:
“Hi, I am out today as I want to stop corporations taking too much power in Scotland. Can you spare a minute to talk to me about it?”
“Hi, have you heard about TTIP? It’s a secret trade deal between the EU and the US, which could threaten our public services in Scotland with further privatisation. Will you sign a petition to stop the deal?”
“Hi, my name’s XXX and I’m a member of the campaigning organisation 38 Degrees. Do you have a spare minute to help save our public services in Scotland?”
Although it may seem daunting, having a conversation with others is one of the most effective ways to communicate your message. Remember, not everyone will agree with you (or even want to stop and talk at all) and that’s okay. Don’t be disheartened or take it personally, by being on the streets you’re already raising awareness about this dangerous trade deal.
How do I answer in-depth questions about TTIP?
You don’t have to be an expert! If someone has a question about TTIP and you’re not sure about the answer, you can point them to the web address on the bottom of the flyer. The site includes links to further reading about TTIP, and should give any interested members of the public the answers they need.
If you do want to read up more on TTIP before Saturday, here are some articles and blogs here to get you started.
Where should I give out my leaflets? Is it legal to give out leaflets?
There are a few different rules about giving out leaflets, but it’s definitely legal!
If you’re in a public place, you’re well within your rights to hand leaflets out to the public if it’s for a charity, or a political or religious group. So these leaflets will definitely be allowed. If anyone does ask you to move, put the ball back in their court and ask where you can hand them out instead.
If you’re meeting up somewhere that could be considered private property – like inside of a shopping centre – security or the centre’s managers could ask you to leave. If you are asked to leave somewhere by staff or security it’s best to do so and move to a public space to carry on handing out your leaflets.
What do I do with the petition sheets once we’ve collected signatures?
Either on the day, or straight after, please add the names and details you collect to the online petition. Here is the link:
It shouldn’t take too long, and it might help to divide the work between your group. Please add all of the signatures you collect by Monday 3rd April. Adding the details ASAP will help build the pressure quicker in Scotland because we’ll be able to email the new petition signers!
Remember that completed petition sheets contain some personal information so you need to take care with them. Don’t leave them lying around, and don’t let anyone use the contact details for any purpose other than for adding them to the petition. Once you’ve added the signatures online, please tear up or shred the petition sheets.
What do I do if someone signs the petition without an email address?
Please encourage signers to add their email address, so they can be sent an update about the campaign. But don’t worry if they don’t, they can still sign the petition. As a minimum, everyone should be encouraged to give a postcode in order to prove they live in Scotland.
What if someone lives in a different constituency to me?
The online form, where you type in the petition signatures you collect, will automatically add people to the right petition for their area depending on their postcode. So don’t worry at all about people signing from a different constituency to you. You’ll be helping to grow your neighbours’ petitions, and they’ll be helping to grow yours.
Where do I send pictures and how can I tell the press what we’re doing?
If you’re on social media, please make sure you tweet using #noTTIP or share your pictures of the day on Facebook.
You can also keep other 38 Degrees members up to date with what you’re doing by sending pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A selection of the best pictures will be sent out to all 38 Degrees members in Scotland!
If you want to send a press release to your local paper along with pictures of the event, you can find a template at the top of this page.
What if I have a question on the day?
The 38 Degrees office will be also be available to answer any last-minute questions from 9am onwards on Saturday:
Call: 0207 970 6023
What happens next?
This is the start of a big push to get our MP candidates to listen up and stop TTIP, so there’s plenty more we can do in the next few weeks to keep the pressure on.
Once you’ve finished collecting signatures, you could all go for a drink to talk about how it went and whether you’d be up for doing it again!