by Markus Power, Greenpeace Nordic Volunteer Coordinator
Today is the biggest “Day of Action” we have ever done – with 2,000 volunteers taking part in 20 countries from Canada to Switzerland to Chile to Australia!
Starting today, volunteers on the streets of 200 cities will talk to tens (and maybe even hundreds!) of thousands of people. One by one, we’ll invite these people to be part of a growing global movement. Our dream: A global sanctuary in the uninhabited area around the North Pole, and a ban on oil drilling and industrial fishing in Arctic waters. Yes, it’s a big dream, and we’ll need a lot of people to help make it happen.
Why I love my job today
It’s the dedication and creativity of Greenpeace’s volunteers that makes my job as a Volunteer Coordinator so exciting! Let me share some examples of today’s activities with you:
As I write, the volunteer team in Valparaiso, Chile is building a huge iceberg on a central city square to bring a piece of the Arctic to their hometown. It’s a perfect backdrop to talk about the Arctic and to engage people in its protection.
Over in Madrid, Spain, families spending this Saturday in the park are invited to an interactive Arctic perfomrance for children done by the local volunteer group. The star of the show is Paula Bear, a stunning polar bear costume, that’s easily be mistaken for a real polar bear!
In Germany, Berlin’s 50-plus-member senior citizen volunteer team is out at the Brandenburg Gate spreading the word about the Arctic with their very own Arctic rap! What a brilliant idea to attract attention and support!
Meanwhile, all across the United States, individual volunteers are out gathering Arctic sign-up tickets from people they know, and friends of friends, because they know that while many people care about the environment, they often need somebody to invite them to become part of the movement!
And in Lebanon, the volunteer team prepared press releases in Arabic and English, and is now out on the streets of Beirut to sign up Arctic defenders!
These are just five examples of 200+ stories that will be worth telling today. All of these contributions to the Global Day of Action have been carefully planned and prepared with volunteers meeting in their groups again and again. They brainstormed ideas, crafted action tools, invited local media and mobilised their fellow campaigners.
There are many hours of dedicated work behind each event, and on behalf of all my fellow Greenpeace colleagues and supporters, I want to convey a huge thank you to all of you volunteers who made this day happen!
Why this all matters to me
With our campaign to save the Arctic, we are taking a stand against some of the world’s most powerful corporations and governments. It will take millions of us to save the Arctic from oil spills and overfishing. It takes our creativity, our dedication and our strength as an unstoppable movement! Today’s Global Day of Action helped us get off to an impressive start. If you haven’t signed up to the campaign yet, just do so now on www.savethearctic.org
Once I have published all the of today’s great pictures and stories on Facebook, and tweeted and retweeted our message far and wide, I’ll leave our quiet Copenhagen office and make my way home. Just under a year old, my daughter is still a bit too young to understand what I’m doing at work. But when I get home, I will still tell her about the many many lovely people who took action today to protect the home of the polar bears. I’m sure it will make her clap.