Case Studies of Collaborative Campaigns

Defunding Big Coal: Abbot Point and Save Our Reef

GetUp, 38 Degrees, Campact

OPEN’s Australian affiliate, GetUp, has been running a multi-year campaign to defend the Great Barrier Reef against a massive proposed new coal export facility, called Abbot Point. In 2015, the group exhausted their current domestic political channels. They shifted their campaign to financiers of the project. And that’s when OPEN’s international ties made a whole new level of campaigning possible.

Deutsche Bank, over which Australians have little leverage, was a major funder. OPEN’s German member, Campact, stepped up to the plate. Germans and Australians signed a joint petition to Save the Reef and jointly crowd-funded an ad in the German edition of the Financial Times. The ad coincided with a massive petition delivery at the Deutsche Bank Annual General Meeting. The next day, Deutsche Bank announced they were no longer considering funding the Abbot Point project.

Several weeks later, 38 Degrees in the United Kingdom partnered with GetUp. Shortly thereafter, Barclays Bank also took Abbot Point financing off the table.

Fighting Bad Trade Deals Like TPP, TTIP, CETA and TISA 2014 to present

MoveOn, Leadnow, GetUp, ActionStation, 38 Degrees, Uplift, Campact, Akcja Demokracja, Skiftet, Operation Libero, Progressi, De-Clic

OPEN member organisations and their allies are growing and engaging their membership to oppose bad trade deals – and it’s working. Millions of individuals have turned these complex and secretive agreements into attention-grabbing news events and the centers of a storms of mass mobilization.

OPEN’s community of campaigners shares best practices, resources, language, and intelligence. It creates a global laboratory that’s building the best tools to take bad traded deals down. Trade deals are not easy issues to organise around. Their complexity and secrecy can make them seem removed from citizens’ lives. They don’t fit well on a poster. But the combined innovation and experience in the OPEN community enabled groups to fire up the grassroots and mobilize members on an unprecedented scale around the issue of trade.

A few examples from throughout 2015: In March, ads appeared in Hawaiian papers with a message from groups in Australia, Canada, the US, New sealand, and multinational partners. “To the negotiators in Hawai’i: More than 2 million citizens from around the world say ‘No Deal’.” On April 18th groups in Germany, the UK, Sweden and Ireland took part in a global day of action – the Swedes’ very first offline event. In the fall, Romanian startup De.Clic launched their first anti-TTIP campaign just weeks after the OPEN Startup Summit’s lively trade planning session with seven OPEN members and two partners. The group successfully reached the Romanian quorum for the independent European Citizens’ Initiative on TTIP.

Campact in Germany has become OPEN’s trade powerhouse, sharing tactics, funding, resources and strategy while mobilizing hundreds of thousands of people in the streets at home. Their members have held flash mobs at official events. Their marches attracted 50,000 people in January, 40,000 in June, and a record breaking 250,000 in October. Campact also held a successful matching fundraiser to support the Action Station’s trade campaigning, linking the TTP and TTIP fights.

In June, when the European Parliament delayed its vote on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, European Parliament ministers told media that massive pressure from citizen groups was responsible for that break-down. People power had won a landmark victory over corporate power - one that lays the groundwork for future wins - and OPEN groups were an important part of the equation.

The People’s Climate March: Global Action Summer and Fall 2015

MoveOn, Campact, GetUp, 38 Degrees, Leadnow, ActionStation, Uplift, Skiftet

OPEN members supercharged the global plan for a global climate mobilization around UN Climate Summit in September, 2014. OPEN facilitated each member organisation’s role. Planning started with a joint strategic mapping exercise. OPEN sponsored a joint staff position with ally 350.org to bring transnational climate expertise to domestic groups.

GetUp took lead responsibility for a 40,000+ person rally in Melbourne. 38 Degrees sent thousands of members to the London rally. MoveOn and Leadnow both organised major boost in turn-out for the flagship event in New York and also drove first ever physical climate rally on the United States-Canada border. Even startup groups organised or supported events.

Members were able to seamlessly exchange key mobilization resources, such as core issue messaging, high-performing turn-out email copy, graphics, and ride- sharing technology. OPEN collected images and video from all members and piped them instantly into the global press stream and video projections in New York City.

Coordinated Support for Refugees Fall 2015

Campact, Aufstehn, Operation Libero, MoveOn, GetUp!, Action Station, Leadnow, 38 Degrees, Uplift, Skiftet

In the fall of 2015, we all watched as the crisis in Syria and the growth of ISIS dominated headlines and conversations around the world this fall.

In September and November, OPEN groups turned a flood of emotion into meaningful policy change and support for refugee families. They raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for relief efforts. They took a stand against hate crimes and campaigned successfully to raise caps on the numbers of refugees their countries agreed to take in. They connected volunteers to aid projects, and welcomed refugees with critical resources and messages of solidarity. And when people felt helpless and hopeless, OPEN groups across the globe brought them together in community to light the darkness.

  • Campact in Germany campaigned hard against anti-refugee hate speech and violence, taking the lead in Europe on this issue. They launched an interactive map of local initiatives that help refugees, connecting volunteers all over Germany.
  • Aufstehn in Austria mobilized members to write to mayors to increase intake, which correlated remarkably to where intake was subsequently raised. Members sent welcoming postcards to each refugee in Austria.
  • Operation Libero in Switzerland issued a stirring call to Parliament to welcome more asylum seekers and fought a deportation initiative in Parliament.
  • MoveOn in the USA raised more than $200,000 for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and launched #AmericaWelcomes pressing the government to welcome 100,000 Syrians. MoveOn members made over 7,000 phone calls to Congress, helping stop an anti-refugee bill in the Senate. The group gathered 150,000 signatures, called, and held rapid-response events when governors declared their states closed to refugees. And Thanksgiving-week dinners brought together refugee families, Congresspeople, and MoveOn members.
  • Leadnow in Canada turned out supporters to #RefugeesWelcome rallies across Canada and integrated demands for better refugee policies into their successful #VoteTogether election campaign.
  • GetUp! in Australia brought together tens of thousands of Australians at #LightTheDark vigils that made front page news around the country, helping push the government to grant permanent protection to 12,000 refugees, additional to Australia’s humanitarian intake.The group led the push for a humane conditions in camps for asylum seekers.
  • Action Station in New Zealand ran a successful campaign to double the national refugee quota, including helping members organize vigils across the country. The group supported GetUp’s detention center campaign by calling on New Zealand’s government to send journalists and consular support.
  • 38 Degrees in the UK organized over 600 local, member-led campaigns asking local Councils to accept more refugees. Those petitions also led to the formation of local refugee welcome action groups. Members raised more than 300 thousand pounds for a Refugee Welcome Board connecting citizens with ways to help and refugees to services.
  • Uplift in Ireland’s members pledged 14,000 beds for incoming refugees, crowd-funded a full-page ad in the national paper, and led the successful push to make the government up their intake cap from 600 to 4,000. Uplift’s membership doubled during this campaign.
  • Skiftet in Sweden organized a candlelight that drew 2,000 people, and gathered more than 15 thousand signatures in support of welcoming refugees. They delivered more than 20 thousand kronor to the Red Cross.

Standing Together for Peace: Coordinated Action after Paris and Beirut November 2015

We are shocked, saddened, and in deep mourning after the terrorist attacks in Paris. We stand in solidarity with the victims’ families, friends, and loved ones.

We express the same solidarity to all of the victims of ISIS across the world, including those in Ankara, Beirut, Syria, and Iraq, and to all of the refugees forced to flee their homes to escape the very terror that hit Paris. Today, we stand together for peace. We stand together for liberté, égalité, fraternité.

These words, backed by 542,044 signatures and 11 OPEN member organisations, ran in Le Monde on November 23.

Earlier that month, OPEN European member organisations and a pan-European ally, WeMove, took part in a training on values-based campaigning at the OPEN European Executive Directors Summit.

Days later, the attacks in Paris and Beirut happened.

The groups quickly designed a petition in response, asking members to sign on to the message. Soon MoveOn in the US, Leadnow in Canada and Action Station in New Zealand joined in as well. 38 Degrees in the UK, Campact in Germany, and MoveOn funded the ad, WeMove designed it, and groups shared email language that went out to millions.

As emotions ran high across the world, OPEN groups responded quickly and decisively as an international community. Their members affirmed their values and presented an international message of compassion and peace.