Participation in a march and public demonstration requires some planning. However, with a bit of forethought, you can ensure you and your colleagues enjoy the day. Here are our tips:
Before the day
You should let the SoR know you intend to participate and provide us with contact details in case there are any changes to our published meeting place or timetable.
Check on the website – this one and the TUC's regularly for updates.
If you're on Twitter, follow us for updates and other news and tweet about the march: @SCoRMembers.
Travelling to the march
A march will rarely run to time and although the organisers will try to keep to time, it may not physically move until some time later, depending on the volume of traffic.
If you travel by public transport buy an ‘open ticket’ for the return journey, as you are more than likely to be later than you think.
Alternatively, if you have a long journey you may want to leave the march at a certain point. If you intend to leave early, let someone in the group know, otherwise they may think you got lost in the crowd.
For members who want to participate, but for some reason can not be there for the entire march, there will be a shorter route for you to follow. If you cannot complete the course for whatever reason, tell someone in the group, contact the SoR, or check on the TUC website to find more information.
What to wear
Check on the local weather forecast and dress appropriately. You will get hot and tired marching so wears that you can easily take off and carry.
If marching with the SoR, you will be provided with a t-shirt or a high vis jacket, so keep this in mind when deciding what to wear.
Shoes should be comfortable; hiking or walking shoes are your best bet. Fashion shoes are best avoided, if possible.
What to take
A light rucksack is preferable. You can store your spare clothing, camera, food and drink, mobile phone etc and still keep your hands free to hold a banner/placard or distribute leaflets.
You will need food and drink – even the short marches can sap your strength. Something sweet and something savoury, along with a bottle of water is a must. Often the group shares sweets – so bringing small, but plentiful items will make you new friends!
Tissues and/or loo roll – there will be a lot of people!
If you are sensitive to noise consider packing some ear plugs. Marches can be very noisy!
Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged. Remember that with the high number of users, some networks can be slow to react. Make sure your camera has charge and sufficient memory; there is often a lot of photography.
A quick look at the route for the march (this will normally be found on the SoR or TUC website) will help you to orientate yourself so that you will know where you are at the end of the March and how to get back to your car/coach/train station. If you have a smartphone, or camera phone, take a screenshot or photo of the route and store it.
You will normally see a number of TUC or union stewards on the march. They can normally be identified by a yellow or pink tabard. There are also SoR stewards on the marches we attend. They can help with information about the arrangements or any special needs.
Try not to drink too much coffee or tea beforehand as toilets can be difficult to find. Same for food, as marching on a full stomach can be tiring.
Let your family and friends know that you are on the march and alert them to the fact that you may be back later than expected.
If you drive and want to park nearby, make sure that you are aware of any road closures as some routes and car parks may be closed or streets may be closed or made one way.
After the march
Help us to spread the word and important messages. Share the coverage with other members, as well as family and friends. You'll find write-ups in Synergy News, on the website and photos on Facebook.
Marches and rallies are sociable occasions. Have fun and make some noise!
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