People Power: It’s time to make our voices heard
The bushfires continue to have devasting effects on Australia’s wildlife, land, people and the planet overall. It is easy to feel helpless and just like the Ben & Jerry’s herd, we are sure you want to play your part. There are lots of people and animals in urgent need and many great organisations that you can donate to. You can find out more here.
But it is not all about the dough, your voice is important too! Now is the time for Australia to talk about climate change. Actually, not just talk – we need to be acting, and we need our leaders to be acting. We know there are many causes to the current bushfires, but if there is one thing that we can all agree on it’s that they have been made worse by climate change. We must act now to make sure these fires are not the new normal. If the people who represent us don’t take climate action seriously, we must use our voices to make sure we see the action we need.
Putting the pressure on policymakers
Your voice has an incredibly important part in making change. Your voice makes sure politicians reflect on how you feel about an issue and makes change happen. It may not feel like it when you are writing letters to politicians or raising awareness on climate change, but this is activism. We know, we know - the word activism can seem a little scary. But it’s not. It just means using your voice to campaign, or to take action, to make political or social change. These actions can be anything from writing a letter to your MP, raising awareness of climate change on social media, to turning up to a march.
Activism is so important because it forces decision makers to sit up and listen. Big and important changes have been made that started with everyday people who cared enough to make their voice heard. Ben & Jerry’s is no stranger to the power of activism. It’s a core part of who we are, and we have been using it as our tool to fight injustice since the 1970’s. In Australia, we have used our voice to fight for marriage equality, to fight for the reef, against coal mines and for renewables. We will keep on fighting for what we believe in and we hope that you will join us.
Become an activist
With the current bushfires, it’s never been more important for all of us to speak up about climate action. Many of us want to do something to help that matters but it’s hard to know where to start. This is where you – and your voice – are so important. By joining those who are speaking up and speaking out about climate justice, you are joining the biggest change makers of them all. You, my friend, are officially an activist. Or as we like to say – an action-ist because you take action on the things you care about.
So you want to be an activist? Start by attending local marches and peaceful protests. Marches are all about people power. A march says to politicians ‘we care so much about this we have showed up’ and nothing in history has been as powerful in making people listen. Try attending climate justice marches and peaceful protests in your local area. These are often advertised online so try googling your city and climate march. Let’s make politicians sit up and listen.
Get in touch with your MP
So you are going to go to a march at the weekend but want to do something right now. How about writing letters to key politicians about your concerns? You can write directly to politicians to tell them how you feel about climate change, the bushfires and what you want to see happen. Our MPs are there to listen to us and represent our views in Parliament. The more people that contact their local MP on climate change the more likely this matter will be raised. Your letter is powerful and is even more powerful when it joins letters that other people have written so why not encourage you friends and family to write too.
If you are not sure what to write, our friends at the Climate Council have put together this handy article on how to write a letter to your local MP. They have also made it easy to find the right person to write to so you can make sure it’s going to the right person. Now is the time for those in power to recognise that serious and urgent climate action needs to be taken. Join us and make sure your voice is heard!