The unashamedly anti-Tory sticker campaign which went viral in 2016 is relaunching with the full weight of The People’s Assembly behind it, explains Jim Scott, Stick it to the Tories cofounder
The concept for Stick it to the Tories came about at a People’s Assembly meeting in Pembrokeshire in 2015, at that point - then five years into the Tories’ ruthless austerity regime we decided that we wanted to come up with a project that would achieve national reach and have ‘maximum impact’ but require ‘minimum effort’. This maxim we felt fit perfectly with the fundamentals of creative activism and would also mean less travelling to meetings in a rural area.
So with just three Wales-based activists working remotely from laptops and a small print shop, Stick it to the Tories was born. With this Canary article acting as a springboard for our launch as well as some serious effort on social media, the project went viral overnight - so much so that the high volume of traffic crashed our website for the first 24 hours!
Sticking it to Theresa May’s 2017 snap election
Within a year, we’d distributed 100,000 stickers and had begun making badges too, the campaign was going strong. Then Theresa May called the 2017 snap election and our feet didn’t touch the ground! With our JC4PM and Theresa May specials, a range of ‘Don’t Vote Tory’ stickers and another Canary article we went viral once more, distributing 70 thousand stickers and 10 thousand badges in just 7 weeks! We even collected ward data locally on election night and were very pleased to find that in areas with high sticker distribution the Tory vote share was significantly down, so we know the stickers work!
‘Silent agitators’ & the history of struggle
Throughout the history of struggle, from the Levellers, through to the Chartists and the Suffragettes and then on to events like the miners' strikes and the movement against the poll tax, badges, stickers and flyers have always played an important role in spreading our message and have proved an effective way to disrupt the establishment’s narrative.
This is the underpinning principle of Stick it to the Tories, that we take our message out onto the streets and into the psyches of everyday people.
With the Tories now making a play for our basic democratic rights and freedoms with their draconian Police Bill, we believe there couldn’t be a more important time for these types of tactics. Just like with the IWW ‘Stickerette’ campaign in the US in 1917 which distributed over four million stickers in total, we believe it’s time that these ‘silent agitators were put to work on a massive scale once again!
Working with our allies
Stick it to the Tories was always affiliated with The People’s Assembly, however, this time we are officially ‘partnering up’ with the PA and will be distributing our stickers directly through the People’s Assembly website via The People’s Assembly shop which is also relaunching. With stickers and badges, we’ll be covering a range of issues and just like before, we’ll be working closely with trade unions and campaign groups like DPAC - Disabled People Against Cuts as well as NHS campaigns and many more.
With some exciting makeovers of some of our old favourites as well as some brilliant and ‘politically current’ new designs we hope that everyone will get with this zeitgeist movement, the mood is ripe right now for mass agitation in this country. We need stickering and other new forms of civil disobedience to create a step-change in how we do our politics, this could become hugely effective too. So please join us, get out there on the streets and Stick it to the Tories!!
New version of the most popular sticker: ‘Choose the Tories or the NHS - you can’t have both’
All our stickers can be found on The People’s Assembly website at The People’s Assembly shop. We will be bringing out tons of new stickers on a broad range of issues in the coming weeks and months, including a sticker to advertise The People’s Assembly’s national demonstration which will take place in London on June 26, so don’t forget to Like and Follow the People’s Assembly’s pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where we will be posting up all our new stickers designs!
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Jim Scott is an eco-socialist activist, writer and campaigner. He is the co-founder of Stick It To The Tories and has played an integral role in creating and building the anti-austerity and anti-war movements in West Wales. Specialising in rural and creative activism Jim is an active People’s Assembly campaigner.
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