La marcia funebre
Da tradurre e scrivere bene
A funeral march is an entry level action that's great at growing the movement. There can be lots of variations on the theme but at its simplest the idea is to ceremonially carry a fake coffin and march provocatively slowly through your town / city slowing down the traffic as you go.
THINGS YOU’LL NEED
- A full size coffin painted black with ‘Our Future’ written on the side of it in white. Groups have also put ‘Wildlife’ or ‘Our Planet’ on the side. If you can’t get hold of an actual coffin it's simple to make a fake one out of plywood or even cardboard.
- Musical accompaniment. This is a great opportunity to get more people involved. Some groups have taken this to the scale of having a whole marching band but it could be as simple as someone banging a single drum as well.
- Black clothing. Have your coffin bearers dress as formally as possible and ask everyone else to dress in black.
- A large extinction rebellion banner. You could think about having the message ‘Business As Usual = Death’ or ‘Inaction = Death’
- Black extinction symbol flags on poles
- Portable sound system and microphone (for speeches at the end)
- Home-made skeletons, white flowers and any other creative element you want to add (optional)
PREPARING FOR THE ACTION
- Get verbal commitment from your coffin bearers and a core group of ‘mourners’ to follow the coffin.
- Make a public facebook event and email everyone in your mailing list inviting them to attend. Remember to keep the facebook event and email description short and to the point clearly explaining the ‘who, what, where, why, when’ of the action. If people are aware of more disruptive actions you have taken locally, you can reassure people that this action is likely to be non arrestable. Give a very clear start and end point to the march. It's best if this is two local landmarks but you could mark two locations on a digital map as well (or drop two pins on google maps).
- Use the seven mobilisation methods to find and invite new rebels to take part. This is a perfect action for first timers so make the most of the opportunity.
- Inform the police of your plan, but don’t ask for permission for a sanctioned march - this often involves the police enforcing conditions on your plans. The march is intended to be disruptive to traffic but below the point of arrest.
- Send a press release to the press in advance to try and get local press and photographers to come down.
- Get commitment from your own photographer / live streamer / videographer
- Get your art team massively involved. Lots of local art groups get really excited by the idea of the funeral march and creativity is a great way to get people from outside the movement involved. Making fake skeletons, bunches of flowers, mourning robes… this all adds to the spectacle and involves more people in the action.
- Plan out your route in advance and do a recce to check out the streets you’re planning to march down. Consider your town’s highstreet or downtown area where you will be seen by the maximum number of people.
- If the march is likely to attract a large turn out of 100+ its worth recruiting some people to do stewarding (guiding people safely to follow the route), first aid and some rebels to bring bottles of water for anyone who feels unwell on the walk. Get a massive load of flyers printed and assign some rebels as outreach rebels to hand them out to passers-by along the way.
DOING THE ACTION
- Enter the road at a safe place. Consider using the 3 minute road block technique if you want to enter along a busy road. Do not enter the road when traffic is moving.
- To march in a covid-secure way ask everyone to march 2 or 3 metres apart. You could ask people to bring a length of string or cloth to trail behind them to help measure the social distance.
- Either let the coffin bearers set the pace or try counting to 3 between every step. The slower you go the more you’ll disrupt the traffic.
- End the march at a public square or equivalent open space and have some speeches about the emergency. A good way to get lots of people involved is to ask people to take the mic and give 2 minutes on their personal reasons for being there. This can often lead to some really surprising and impactful stories. Make sure everyone attending knows how to join your local group, when the next meeting is and (ideally) what your next action is.
- If you have people willing to risk arrest, for a more disruptive ending you can bury the coffin in a significant piece of land outside a government building. This will ordinarily lead to you being arrested for criminal damage so make sure the people doing have had a legal briefing about the possible consequences.
AFTER THE ACTION
It's great to have another action already in the pipeline that you can invite people straight into. Planning your next action as something that involves a higher level of civil disobedience - like Blood Of Our Children, Red Handed or a 3 Minute Roadblock - is perfect so you can help take rebels on a journey towards more rebellious action. Having an NVDA training booked for the following week is another great next step to keep rebels moving on their journey.