Getting involved in a campaign to protect your local community from coal and gas developments is a new experience for many people. The good news is that you are not flying blind – there’s information about the kinds of processes that help.
To make a difference it helps to get people together and form an Action Group - a community group that rolls up their sleeves and pitch in for creative grass-roots work. Local action groups are the heart of the Lock the Gate movement. They are the people working hard across the country to get better protections for the places they live in and love. Action Groups are where we learn, form new friendships, and experience the power of collaboration.
Action Groups are different from the community clubs that people may be used to. They need to be nimble and responsive, so that the work turns over quickly in the often fast-moving campaign.
Our social movement gives birth to many groups. Some thrive, some become rigid, and some groups fade away. If we can learn together how to keep our groups dynamic, our campaign will grow stronger. The key is to continually ask ourselves questions like ‘How could we involve more people? or ‘What did we learn from doing the meeting that way?’ This process of review is called Action Learning. When we do it well, our movement has enormous adaptive power and creativity.
Lock the Gate has developed a series of downloadable Tip Sheets with a range of information to help you build the campaign in your local area, including how to start an action group, and how to keep your group functioning effectively. Please check out the tip sheets below and share them with your group for general discussion.