On Monday, September 21 you will be among thousands of hosts sounding the Global Wake Up Call in communities around the world. Using alarms, phone calls and stunts, your action will be part of an unprecedented global grass-roots action to help stop catastrophic climate change.
Our Avaaz community, working with global partners, is in a unique position to use new technology to mobilize people across the world to join together in simultaneous climate actions with a united message: that we demand that our leaders go to the final UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen this December and sign a Fair, Ambitious and Binding Treaty that will stop catastrophic climate change (see below for more detail). We have the technology and the solutions to solve the climate crisis, but we need to show leaders that the global public wants action NOW!
The action that you will host is called a ‘flash mob’. A definition of a flash mob is a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place (English Link), perform an unusual action for a brief time, and then quickly disperse: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flashmob)
The aim of this action is to show leaders the strength of the public demand
for a binding treaty to stop catastrophic climate change. We’ll accomplish this through:
Compiling video, pictures and numbers from the events into a delivery
that will be made to world leaders assembled in New York the next day!
Getting media coverage
, both in global and local media, of the events that we organize.
Flooding our elected leaders with
thousands of “wake up” phone calls.
The action has two basic elements:
Coming together in a group to sound an alarm
by setting off mobile phone alarms, ringing bells, tooting horns, banging pots and pans, beating drums, blowing whistles to wake up sleeping politicians at 12:18pm, and uploading pictures, video and sound of the event to help deliver the wake up call to world leaders the next day.
Making a phone call to Climate decision makers
to demand a FAB deal (Fair, Ambitious and Binding) and then holding up the phone so our leaders are alerted to the deafening noise of a global movement for climate action. To find the names and numbers of leaders in your country,
Because the 18
day of the 12
month (December) is the final day of the UN climate meeting in Copenhagen where the world leaders
must agree to an ambitious fair and binding treaty to avert a climate catastrophe.
Most events around the world will take place at that symbolic time, with people leaving work at lunch hour to join in, or holding events where they work or at school. But if that time doesn't work for you,
the most important thing is that as many people take part as possible -- so choose a time that does work!
-- At 18:12, for example, there will be another wave of sound which you can be part of.
A.) Choose a location first
-- Great places to hold your flashmob could include the steps of your Parliament, outside the Ministry of the Environment, in the town square, at the university, near your workplace, at the main train station. Once you have confirmed your location, you should update your details so that others know where to rally. You can do this by following the personalized link in the event confirmation email sent to you.
Generally events in public places require permits, but flashmobs are different. While you must respect the law, the flashmob model does not usually involve getting permission. The event happens spontaneously and then disperses.
B.) Invite friends, family and colleagues to attend --
Use the event host pages (the link in the email you will receive after signing up) to invite friends, family, colleagues and others. Send invitations to the usual suspects (your local environmental groups) and unusual ones too (like sports leagues, faith groups, unions, youth groups, and professional associations, music groups that can sound the alarm).
Avaaz will also send an invitation email to other Avaaz members who live close by to the event. Anywhere from 5 to 50 may RSVP, but you will know ahead of time by checking your personal host event page (which can be found in the event confirmation email sent to you).
Other recruitment ideas include talking at local events; meeting with organizations; pitching the idea to your workplace; or going online and using facebook, myspace, twitter and youtube to promote your event. And to make sure it’s big, before the event, you should ask everyone who has RSVP’d to bring at least one other person!
C.) Start planning the event details
-- The good thing about flashmobs is that there isn’t that much to organize. But, to make it work here are the key things to sort out:
Make sure you go to the venue to check it out. For example you should find out what transport route it is on.
Make sure that you have a camera and video camera and someone to film and take photos organized to record the action – the more professional these people the better.
Are you okay to organize the event alone? if not ask a few friends to help out. You may want to have a person assigned to liaise with the media.
If you want to have a speaker or spokesperson for the media, you should prepare that in advance.
Get some extra sound makers to bring to your event in case passersby want to join in.
D.) Contact the media
-- One of the two main aims of the Global Wake Up call is to attract media -- and before the big day, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to successfully and simply get coverage. It will include a sample media advisory, which will be found here:
Bring a copy of your media advisory to the event on the day
You may also wish to submit an Op-ed (Opinion Piece) to your local paper or send a letter to the editor.
** Update your details on the site
-- As plans for your flashmob develop, log back into
so that your community can find out what is happening.
** The flashmob concept has been updated and simplified (as at Tuesday 15 September) **
The flashmob idea is simple – here’s how to run it in 3 easy steps:
Note: Arrive a few minutes early. You won't necessarily recognize the participants--the fun of flashmobs is that the group seems to appear out of nowhere when the moment arrives!
Set the alarm on your phone for 12:18pm.
Go to the location. When the alarm goes off, raise your phone above your head. The alarms of the other participants will go off as well -- so everyone can gather together, without having to say a word, as their alarms create a mobile phone symphony.
Call leaders and ask for climate action.
Bring printouts of government phone numbers --
click here to find the numbers
Remind people to call in, be polite, and ask for your national leader to agree to go to Copenhagen and sign a fair, ambitious, and binding (FAB!) climate treaty this December. If all the lines are busy, that's great--it means we're flooding them with calls! But do urge people to keep trying to make calls throughout the day.
If you want to do more, the simplest thing is to chant, make noise, and "tck tck tck" with your arms for the video or photo.
To do this: When you gather with your phones held high, chant "Tck, Tck, Tck" -- and move one arm like the second hand of a human clock, ticking away the moments as time runs out for action on climate change.
Check out the video here for inspiration.
If you synchronize well, this can look terrific on video!
More ideas for Sept 21 events:
Anything is possible! One planned Sept 21 event involves music at a ceremony in a Himalayan monastery. Some groups are bringing the local trumpet school to blow the horns at 12:18, and wine growers in France, whose livelihoods are under threat from climate change, will be chiming empty bottles.
Ask your town council to ring the town bell or sound an air raid siren as part of the day. Ask your house of worship to do the same with church bells etc.
Bring world flags to hand out to participants for them to wave -- flags create a great visual
Make banners saying “Global Climate Wake Up Call”, “Wake Up!” and “Fair, Ambitious and Binding Climate Treaty Now”
Bring pots and pans, whistles, horns, drums, or whistles or whatever you want to sound the alarm as loud as you can.
Enact street theatre – for example, get 1 person to act as your head of government, give them a mask or have them wear a sign with their name and have them lie sleeping on the ground. Then, when everyone's cell phone alarms go off at 12:18, they all go over and make and more noise to physically wake up the leader, creating a great media visual.
Bring noisemakers to hand out to the crowd for everyone to use to wake up the world leaders.
If you have a well known band or speaker then you may include them. If you work with a larger organization or a number of friends you might organize a larger rally with a few speakers, but you may need a permit for this if it lasts longer than several minutes.
In your action, the visual of the action and the phone call are essential.
The gathering will illustrate the climate movement to the media, and the phone call is critical to ensure that the event gets across the messages on climate change to the right people (otherwise it is an unique event but not necessarily furthering the outcomes we need).
A word on the authorities:
As you know a flashmob is a spontaneous 5-7 minute gathering that disperses as quickly as it starts -- it's not a long rally or a march that you would usually need a permit for. The event is ideally invisible at first, then emerges out of nowhere with any banners and signs suddenly unfurled, and then disappears just as suddenly. But if you are approached by the police and asked about the event -- politely explain what the gathering is and if they ask you to disperse, encourage attendees to disperse while making their climate wake up calls - that's the most important thing to get done. If you live in a country where authorities are very strict about gatherings in public you may want to hold your event on private property as a last resort.
Immediately send us your photos and your stories
-- We need pictures, videos and sound of your event right away as we will be making a video to present at the same day in New York! Email your photos and videos to
-- or for big files, upload them to
and email the link to
Issue a Press Release
-- Once you have completed the action, send out a press release to relevant media outlets.. Include photos and videos (or links to them) in the press release so the media outlets can add the events to their next editions. It is always critical to link the events to the message and policy demands. We will be publishing template press releases. You may also want to send a letter to your elected representative with some images of your action, asking them to go to Copenhagen to sign fair, ambitious and binding treaty.
Thanking attendees and staying in touch
-- send a thank you email to those who attended. Depending on how it goes, there may be other events and actions to organize between now and Copenhagen. Avaaz will be in touch with further opportunities.
Congratulate yourself on a job well done!! Some events will be more difficult than others, so remember to focus on all the good things you and your Avaaz friends achieved.
The world needs a wake-up call on climate change. In September a perfect storm will gather with the G20 Finance Ministers meeting on the 4th and 5th September, the UN General Assembly on Sept 22 and the G20 leaders on 24-25. Our plan is to invigorate and raise expectations of these meetings through a global wake-up call on September 21 in countries around the world.
We cannot let the world sleepwalk into a climate disaster. Governments have to make critical decisions at the UN and the G20 in order for there to be a FAB deal in Copenhagen in December. We aim to make so much noise on the 21st September that our Wake Up call rings in leaders ears!
What are we saying and what are we asking for? Guidelines for talking points when phoning a leader -- be concise!
Introduce and explain the background noise by saying that you are part of an international action, called the Global Wake Up call which is asking for leaders to go to the Copenhagen climate meeting in December and agree upon a global climate deal that is
FAIR AMBITIOUS BINDING (FAB).
Tell them the number of people you are with.
Ask them whether it is possible to speak to someone in an official capacity about this.
If they say no, ask them to register your call and convey the message to the decision maker
Explain in more detail using the information below. It can also be very powerful to explain your own personal story and why climate change is important to you. Remember that people are busy, and particularly if you are talking to an administrator or receptionist, you should keep your conversation brief.
Thank them for listening and again reiterate that the national leader must go to Copenhagen and advocate for a FAB treaty.
If you all don’t get through at the flashmob, ring later in the day or the following day! It is possible that in many countries we will crash the phone system that is not a bad thing we will just keep calling to make sure we are heard!
Messaging -- CALL TO ACTION
Climate change is putting life on earth in peril. There is still time to build a greener, safer world. But the clock is ticking. In December world leaders will meet in Copenhagen to decide our destiny.
On the 21st September we will give the global leaders such a Wake Up Call to Climate Change that it will still be reverberating when they meet in New York and Pittsburgh.
We call on our leaders to go to the UN meeting and then the G20 Summit and agree the financing so the Copenhagen meeting in December can agree a global climate deal that is
FAIR AMBITIOUS BINDING
An ambitious, fair and binding treaty for the planet.
We want our political leaders to be in Copenhagen and to show historic leadership in achieving a treaty which is:
for the poorest countries that did not cause climate change but are suffering most from it.
enough to leave a planet safe for us all.
with real targets that can be legally monitored and enforced.
Here is the timeline between the Global Wake Up Call and the CopenhagenHere is the timeline between the Global Wake Up Call and the Copenhagen
Global Wake Up Call
Wake Up World!
UN High-Level Event on Climate Change
Global leaders discuss action needed on climate
G20 Leaders need to agree financing
for Copenhagen deal
7th - 18th December
Climate Meeting in Copenhagen (COP
Make or break meeting
Celebrating a FAB treaty! And making
sure that governments keep to their commitments!
The Global Wake Up Call is being coordinated by Avaaz.org and the tcktcktck campaign - an unprecedented global alliance of civil society organizations, trade unions, faith groups and people all calling for a fair, ambitious and binding climate change agreement.
Thanks for your time and energy in organizing an event we can only stop climate change if we all
pull together and show world leaders that we demand action.