1. CAMPAIGNS, ACTION, PROJECTS, PUBLICITY
A campaign is a relatively sophisticated tool, requiring
much thought, resources and energy to be effective. In the
example given below, you can see how the members of one
organisation put together their thoughts to come to conclusions
about such central questions as: why? how? who for? who
with? with what?, etc.
In 1990, Service Civil International (SCI) members drove
a UNIMOG truck around Europe as part of a solidarity campaign
for the liberation of Namibia, then still under the control
of South Africa. This is only an excerpt from their Campaign
Handbook which goes on to describe different ways of organising
street theatre and solidarity workcamps.
We don't intend to present you a theoretical explanation
about actions. We only give you a short introduction on
some points you should keep in mind if you plan or prepare
some kind of action.
1. Aim of the campaign
2. Planning procedures
3. Types of actions
1. Aim of the campaign
The ultimate purpose of our campaign is to contribute to
the liberation of Namibia. Of course we cannot succeed with
only one action or even with a campaign of two years! We
have to be aware of this!
In Strasbourg we have discussed about sub-aims, about what
is realistic to obtain with the campaign. Maybe some of
us have also already discussed this in their branches.
These sub-aims are:
• Raise consciousness about the
relationship between Western Europe and the Apartheid system;
• Highlight the fact that military
equipment produced in Europe is used by the Apartheid regime
to suppress the Namibian people;
• Mobilise political, moral and
material support for the liberation of the Namibian people;
• Make the public aware of the
situation of Namibian refugees, mostly women and children,
who are in exile in the refugee camps in Angola;
• Publicise the role that women
are playing in the struggle for freedom;
• Demand an end to all military,
diplomatic and economic collaboration of the Western countries
with the Apartheid system.
• We want to organise a positive
and as far as possible emotional experience.
• We want to create broad public
• We want to give factual information
to the public.
• We try to avoid creating feelings
of compassion and simple appeals.
We want to develop in the public:
• emotional identification,
• basic information,
2. Planning procedures
a) Target groups
Define the target group and your concrete aims in the campaign
before planning the activity.
Examples of target groups: young people, students, house
The style of approach will differ for the respective target
• What is informative, emotional?
• How do you publish facts and
• How do you tell an illustrative
b) Realistic planning
An action should be planned long enough in advance. All
the points mentioned above should be discussed and after
all this is clear you can go on with the more technical
aspects of the planning:
• location of the action
• production or purchase of material
• permits (from the local government
• publicity material: leaflets,
posters, contact with the press, personal publicity, contact
with other organisations, ...
• financial support
• films, slides,..., about the
• It is necessary to make a script:
"What will be done by whom and when?". Make a
timetable and assess your capabilities realistically. You
will find examples of how much time you need for what at
the end of this handbook.
In our struggle against racism and oppression we are not
alone.We should cooperate with other organisations whenever
it is possible. You can get support, ideas and information
from, and you can cooperate with for example:
• solidarity movements and Third
• anti-racist and anti-Apartheid
• students and other people of
the country for which you are campaigning
• representatives of their respective
• local and national committees
of the United Nations
• Amnesty International
• member governments of the EC
• the local government
• trade unions
• national aid services (i.e. Red
• business, i.e. Third World shops
• If you start a cooperation, then
these organisations should be involved in the preparation
of the campaign in your country, or at least of the activities
in which they are involved. Take care you make good appointments
about who is responsible for what.
Try also to cooperate with or make use of
• VIPs like artists, politicians,
scientists, sports people
• black members of parliament
• events of great interest taking
place during the campaign
• other political or cultural events
3.Types of actions
There are different kinds of actions. We will describe
some in this paragraph. It is very important to present
the public possibilities to act. After you have given the
information they might be willing to express their solidarity
in one or the other way. This can be financial support or,
what is better, they might be willing to do something concrete
(sign a petition, not buying South African fruit, participate
in the campaign,...)
You should try to avoid to organise an action with too
many different aims. This is the same as trying to say too
many different things in one sentence. The result is that
it is not clear anymore. The aims of the action have to
be clear in advance.
a) Possible types of action to raise public interest
• to perform health-checks near
or in the truck (measuring blood pressure, first aid courses,...)
• to coordinate a "truck convoy"
in coordination with other aid service organisations
• street theatre
• a drawing competition (i.e. posters
made by pupils)
• a run for solidarity or other
sports and games
• a treasure hunt for children.
b) Informative activities
are aimed at informing the public about the situation in
Cuanza Sul and in Namibia, and at informing them about the
many links between Western Europe and the Apartheid regime.
c) Political pressure
You can force members of your local or national government
to take a stance:
• put pressure on your members
• organise petitions
d) Boycotts (South African fruit
or other products)
These actions can take place in front of shops or on market
places. The best way to convince a shop keeper to stop selling
South African products is to convince the customer. This
is also a good example for presenting the public a possibility
to act themselves very concretely: they can stop themselves
buying South African products and they can put pressure
on the shop keeper to stop selling these products (petition).
e) Actions in front of businesses supplying weapons, or
banks cooperating with South Africa
One possibility is to involve trade unions and to organise
a public debate about the conversion of military factories
into more peaceful ones.
f) Possible action combined with fundraising
Fundraising should always be in combination with information!
There are different possibilities:
• The easiest way to raise funds
is to sell a product, make sure it is a useful product;
• plasters (this will be coordinated
by the international campaign coordination),
• small UNIMOG trucks (informative
and symbolic value)
Each country will have the opportunity to paint a part
of the truck. A possibility is to invite important politicians,
as well as the press to paint a small part of the truck.
People sympathising with the campaign and with SWAPO can
be asked to pay a contribution for the gasoline for the
truck. The international coordination will deliver you shares
which you can sell.
To organise an action it is not enough to sit around the
table and discuss. We explain to you what we understand
To organise activities you need people to prepare and people
to do the activity. It must be clear in advance how many
people you need for the activity you undertake.
There are different kinds of participants. Some people
are 100% involved, those who prepare, take part in and evaluate
the action, others take part in only some aspects of it,
or support it morally and materially.
b) Money, facilities and material
A lot of people are not aware of the financial implications
of an action. Most actions cost some amount of money, only
a few raise funds. It is very important, although it is
rather technical and sometimes tiresome, to make a budget.
How much will an action cost and where will the money come
E.g. material, phonecalls, stamps, travel costs, make up,
special clothes, gasoline, printing of leaflets, the rent
of a meeting room...
Don't try to explain something you don't understand yourself.
If there is nobody in the group who knows something about
Southern Africa and Namibia you should contact somebody
who does have some knowledge about it.
To give you some information about the campaigning and
about Namibia and the SWAPO we produced a booklet about
the campaign. It will be published very soon. Please read
Something which is often forgotten is to make an evaluation
of what happened. This is very important. You can learn
a lot by making an evaluation which you can use for future
You should evaluate all aspects of the campaign: the preparation,
the results, the way you have been cooperating with each
other, the material aspects, reactions of the public, financial
Either if the activities have been successful or otherwise
you should evaluate all this.
Campaign Handbook, Service Civil
If you are searching for other ideas for helping with campaigning
and other actions, Compass has an excellent section called
Action which could prove useful.