There’s something about positive political actions that can bring people together.

You might just find you’re making friends for life — and we can all use more friends.


Click any of the images to see them at a larger size.

Image by Lucy Knisley - part of the DrawTheLine project at www.drawthelinecomics.com

SHOP LOCAL

Using local businesses is one of the most pleasant political actions there is.

You get your goods (often with exemplary customer service) *and* the warm glow of satisfaction that comes from knowing that your money is going directly into the local community.

Links to find out more

Image by Lucy Knisley


Image by Kel Winser - part of the DrawTheLine project at www.drawthelinecomics.com

PRINT MONEY

Towns like Totnes and Lewes in the UK have created their own local banknote. It can only be used within the town walls, meaning that its recipients must shop local, and its benefits never leave the local community.

Links to find out more

Image by Kel Winser


Image by Fumio Obata - part of the DrawTheLine project at www.drawthelinecomics.com

START A COLLECTION

Consult the websites of migrant aid charities and food banks to see what kind of food is needed — usually dried or tinned goods.

Then ask your neighbours to help you collect them. Allocating one type of food to each street in your neighbourhood can be good — and then the competitive instinct kicks in as you see which street can come up with the most.

Links to find out more

Image by Fumio Obata


Image by Karrie Fransman - part of the DrawTheLine project at www.drawthelinecomics.com

PUT OUT A WELCOME MAT

Let refugees know that they are welcome.

Befriend them, give them a friendly smile, put a poster up in your window (or that of your workplace), donate clothes and toys.

You may even consider fostering or sharing your home with those who need a roof over their heads.

Links to find out more

Image by Karrie Fransman


Image by Sally-Anne Hickman: part of the Draw the Line comics project

HANG UP A WELCOME SIGN

If you own a business or work somewhere public, display a sign to make it clear that everyone is welcome.

In Portland, Oregon, USA, the Independent Publishing Resource Center made signs that read: We welcome ALL races,ALL religions, ALL countries of origin, ALL sexual orientations, ALL genders. We stand with you. You are safe here.

If you’re a maker, you can produce something similar — and make them available to others. Offer them via social media, using your local hashtag, Facebook page or message board.

Links to find out more

Image by Sally-Anne Hickman


Image by Jaime Huxtable - part of the DrawTheLine project at www.drawthelinecomics.com

BUILD A WALL OF KINDNESS

While Donald Trump was first talking about his divisive wall, the concept of a “Wall of Kindness” was blossoming in Iran.

Stretches of wall are painted and furnished with pegs. Then, people hang clothes, food and and goods that they no longer need for the homeless or poor to take.

The concept is spreading: several UK towns currently feature their very own walls of kindness (in the case of Brighton, it’s a seafront shelter of kindness…)

Links to find out more

Image by Jaime Huxtable


Image by Zara Slattery - part of the DrawTheLine project at www.drawthelinecomics.com

PLANT RADICAL ROOTS

Start a community gardening project where everyone reaps what you sow together.

You’re growing cheap, healthy food, and at the same time, creating friendships, getting fresh air and exercise, improving mental health, and reducing the amount of fruit and veg that needs to travel half way round the world.

Links to find out more

Image by Zara Slattery


Image by Joe Decie - part of the DrawTheLine project at www.drawthelinecomics.com

PART-OWN YOUR STUFF

When every house in the street has their own electric drill, laminator, or anything else that you might only use a couple of times a year, it only benefits one thing — capitalism!

Let’s save some money, make friends amongst our neighbours, and do a bit of good for the environment by starting a sharing group. If that goes well, you could work up to sharing bigger things, like cars…

Links to find out more

Image by Joe Decie


Image by Karen Rubins - part of the DrawTheLine project at www.drawthelinecomics.com

SUPPORT A FAMILY

Could you help a family who are new to your country?

In the UK, groups can become ‘Community Sponsors’: “you will be allocated a family fleeing conflict, and it will be your responsibility to support the resettled family from the moment of arrival in the UK.”

Other countries have similar schemes — check your local council or national government website for details.

Links to find out more

Image by Karen Rubins


Image by Freya Harrison - part of the DrawTheLine project at www.drawthelinecomics.com

JOIN THE PARTY

It costs surprisingly little to become a card-carrying party member. It also gives you the right to vote on important party decisions, like leadership and the stance they take on important issues.

Image by Freya Harrison


Image by Jan Wheatley - part of the DrawTheLine project at www.drawthelinecomics.com

FORM A POSSE

Gather people together — online or in your living room.

What are you going to achieve — the downfall of the state? Helping the homeless? Changing legislation? Make an action list. Then act.

Research shows that meeting in person is a more effective way of staying motivated and productive.

Links to find out more

Image by Jan Wheatley


Image by Yen Quach - part of the DrawTheLine project at www.drawthelinecomics.com

BECOME AN EVENTS MANAGER

No need to wait for someone else to organise it: running an event is easy, especially if you’re a fan of checklists.

Hire a venue, make a Facebook page, alert the ‘what’s on’ magazines: bingo!

Now you can run a fund-raising event, or invite speakers, or collect and sort goods for the homeless. Or take it outside: a ramble or a group cycle rally can also be a great chance to raise funds and plan action.

Image by Yen Quach


Image by Kane Lynch - part of the DrawTheLine project at www.drawthelinecomics.com

TEACH LANGUAGE

Help people who have just arrived in your country by getting them started with the lingo. It’s one of the most basic, yet life-changing things you can do — and by virtue of being a native speaker, you’re already an expert.

Image by Kane Lynch


Image by Deborah Fajerman - part of the DrawTheLine project at www.drawthelinecomics.com

BECOME A BIG TWITTER FISH

In this day and age, cultivating a large set of Twitter followers isn’t just a vanity project: it’s an asset.

Followers can be mobilised for important causes You can also use your tweets for good, via platforms like Just Coz.

Image by Deborah Fajerman


Image by Joan Reilly - part of the DrawTheLine project at www.drawthelinecomics.com

CRAFT YOUR PROTEST

Sarah Corbett found traditional methods of protest to be aggressive, loud and unkind – so she embraced Craftivism, a gentler form of protest.

Her project to give embroidered handkerchiefs to the Marks and Spencers board worked: it brought about a change in policy that saw a higher-than Living Wage being introduced for the department stores’ workers.

Craftivism encourages contemplation, community and critical thinking — and anyone can do it.

Links to find out more

Image by Joan Reilly


Image by Emily Haworth-Booth - part of the DrawTheLine project at www.drawthelinecomics.com

ATTEND MEETINGS

Go to your political party’s local meetings: otherwise known as creating an instant social circle for yourself, filled with people who share your world view. With the added bonus that you can change the world.

Links to find out more

Image by Emily Haworth-Booth


Image by Jeroen Janssen - part of the DrawTheLine project at www.drawthelinecomics.com

CHANGE YOUR BUSINESS MODEL

In Madrid, one restaurant charges its customers during the day, and uses the profits to feed the homeless in the evening.

Links to find out more

Image by Jeroen Janssen


Image by EdieOP - part of the DrawTheLine project at www.drawthelinecomics.com

SWAP SKILLS

Save some money and make some friends: pay for services like babysitting or carpentry by doing whatever you’re good at in return. Setting up a local bartering system can bring communities together, too.

Links to find out more

Image by EdieOP


Image by Amy Lam - part of the DrawTheLine project at www.drawthelinecomics.com

MEET THE NEIGHBOURS

Run a zocalo. Named after the Mexican city square, a zocalo is a simple scheme to encourage neighbourhood community.

The official Zocalo website says: “On Zocalo Day we invite you to step out from your home, plonk a chair on the street and get to know your neighbours. Of course, if you want to share tea and biscuits with them, all the better. Zocalos are mercifully free of fund-raising, red tape, council intervention and bunting. And with any luck, at the end of the night you’ll find you’ve acquired a whole load of new friends who just happen to live down the road”.

Some of those new friends might be people who are very much in need of a neighbourhood community, to combat loneliness or because they find it difficult to leave the house.

Links to find out more

Image by Amy Lam


Image by Laura Sorvala - part of the DrawTheLine project at www.drawthelinecomics.com

START A CLUB

Casserole clubs are an Aussie concept: volunteers share extra portions of home-cooked food with people in their area who aren’t always able to cook for themselves — the elderly, the disabled, the lonely. Cooks share once a week, once a month, or whenever works best for them.

Links to find out more

Image by Laura Sorvala


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