On February 21st, Samir Flores, a Mexican community activist resisting a gas-pipeline and thermo-electric plant was murdered on his doorstep. For the one month anniversary of his death, groups across Europe are invited to hold vigils to denounce the roles of European corporations in his murder. (Read the joint statement here.)
Here are a few idea of simple, creative actions that you can easily do to show solidarity for the communities in Morelos, Mexico and around the world that are resisting dangerous gas projects pushed by European corporations (Elencor, Abengoa, Enagas, Bonatti, and Saint-Gobain). We believe it is important to not let politically-motivated murders go unchallenged, and activists in Mexico have told us how useful international solidarity can be. These ideas will allow you to have a visually strong action, even if you are just a few people!
Where to hold your action? Many capitals across Europe have Mexican embassies or consulates, and many other cities have corporate offices of the European corporations (involved in the gas project Samir was fighting. You can also find a site that is most strategic for your group – maybe in front (or inside?) of the office of the gas company you are fighting, at the port terminal where gas is imported or exported, or at a petrol station with LNG. If you are a small group, you can take a photo in the doorway to your house – reminding us of the site where Samir was murdered. Ask people to bring candles and/or flowers if they can.
Action Planning: We don’t have much time, so we need to be efficient and creative! Develop an action proposal and hold a meeting to talk about it. Use the meeting to create the visual elements for your action! Don’t forget to distribute clear roles: who will photograph or video, who will bring what materials, who can make a facebook event or whatsapp invitation, and (importantly!) who can share photos and video from the action immediately with Noelie (at) Gastivists.org
Easy and Creative Action Ideas
We are inviting people to Hold Candle-light vigils, though you are free to do whatever you like. We are mourning the death of Samir Flores, gather a group together with candles and perhaps a few songs to sing together. The candles themselves will create a powerful atmosphere. Bring a good camera that can take photos in the dark, and paint, draw, or print out a sign or banner that calls out the European corporations involved in the gas project Samir was resisting or shows solidarity with the Mexican communities. (such as #aguaSiTermoNo, #YoSoyHuexca)
Print out Poster: There are beautiful, iconic images of Samir that are being shared across Mexico. Here you can find a few images to print out into a easy-to-make poster (that looks great surrounded by candles): print out this image (4 page poster) or this image (9 page poster). Cut off the white margins on the right side and bottom, and glue them together (or tape on the backside). Done! Here you can find some images to print out on a single page.
Mexican Paper Flags: “Papel Picado” is a Mexican tradition for the Day of the Dead of paper flags that are strung together on a string. Here you can find a PDF file of flags that say: “Justicia para Samir” (Justice for Samir). Print them on colored paper (mix up the colors if you can, so that each letter has a different color than the letters next to them) then cut out around the outline of the letter (no need to cut out all the little bits inside, they are dark so will disappear at night anyway!). Staple them together or tape them onto a string and bring them to your action or hang them in your doorway. Want to create your own message? Here is the whole alphabet you can download, and here are a few extra skull images!
Light up Banners: There is a great trick you can learn to make illuminated banners – sure to get you attention even with a small group. To make these you will need 1) a piece of cardboard painted black for each letter, 2) portable LED string lights (with batteries) for each letter and 3) clear, strong tape. Simply sketch out the letters (make them all the same size!) onto the black cardboard and tape the lights onto it. Pay attention to make the spacing between the lights more or less the same for the whole letter. Tape the battery pack to the back of the cardboard and your done! Want to use less lights? Write in cursive script, so you can use a single string of LEDS for multiple letters.
Write with Candles: This one is easy, just get a lot of candles and write your message in the floor. Place it around an image of Samir or a banner.