What is Support Don’t Punish?
Support. Don’t Punish. is a global advocacy campaign that seeks to raise awareness of the harms being caused by the War on Drugs. The campaign aims to promote drug policies that respect human rights and protect public health, to change laws and policies that impede access to harm reduction interventions and other evidence-based services, and to end the criminalization of people who use drugs. To view the campaign’s primary messages, visit their website.
The campaign creates visibility and awareness over both global issues facing people who use drugs and also local campaigns in areas where events are organized. There are three primary components to the campaign:
- Social Media Engagement: Using #SupportDontPunish, everyone is encouraged to post photos, articles, and news stories relevant to the campaign’s messages both on June 26th and the days leading up to it. Follow @SDPcampaign on twitter as well as the official Facebook Page. You can also change your Facebook cover photo for the day.
- Photo Project: A key part of the campaign is an interactive photo project that anyone with a camera can participate in. Just download the campaign poster, take your photo and then send it to firstname.lastname@example.org to be uploaded on the website, Facebook and on Flickr.
- Global Day of Action: On June 26th, join thousands of activists worldwide by organizing or participating in an action in your city calling for an end to the global drug war. Actions can range from public demonstrations, to film screenings, to street art/performances, to academic events.
- In 2015, SSDP organized a march in Washington, DC that called on the US State Department to cease funding and aid for drug enforcement agencies in countries that implement the death penalty for drug offenses.
- SSDP chapters in Ireland organized a rally in Dublin in 2015 where the Irish Minister for Drug Strategies publically declared his support for the decriminalization of all drugs for the first time.
- SSDP Ghana brought together their various chapters for a day of awareness in 2016 where they called attention to the stigmatization of people who use drugs in Ghana.
- Last year, chapters in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Ireland, Pakistan, Mexico, Liberia, and the United States all participated in a diverse range of actions.
Why June 26th?
June 26th is the United Nations’ International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking – a day when many governments celebrate their contributions to the global ‘War on Drugs’. In the past, some governments have even commemorated this day by holding public executions or beatings of drug offenders. By taking part in the Global Day of Action, you can help “reclaim” this message on this important day.
How Do I Get Involved?
Participate in a Local Action
If you live near a major city or large population area and want to see if there is already an event being planned near you, contact email@example.com, or check out the official 2019 Day of Action page. We will let you know when the action is planned for, what is going on, and who to contact about getting involved.
Organize an Event
If you do not live near a location where a Support. Don’t Punish event is already being planned, then organize one yourself! The campaign’s website has plenty of resources in a variety of languages to help you get started.
The aim for the Global Day of Action is to produce high-profile and visually symbolic local actions. It is your choice to decide what these actions are. The only requirement is that these actions are connected to the global campaign by using the Support. Don’t Punish logo (available in several different languages). This could be on t-shirts, banners, posters, reports or other materials. This allows us to tie together the local actions and to demonstrate that they are all part of a coordinated global effort. Also be sure to include the SSDP logo on any materials you make.
If you decide to organize an action, let us know about it by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are looking for inspiration about what to do, have a look at the actions that took place in previous years.
Share your photo to join thousands around the world!
Don’t have time to go to an event or organize one yourself? No worries! One of the key components to Support Don’t Punish is the interactive photo project to which you can easily contribute. Just download the campaign poster, take your photo, and then send it to email@example.com to be uploaded on the website, Facebook, and Flickr. Send a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org as well so we can show it off on our website and social media pages.
Remember to use #SupportDontPunish with all social media posts, along with #StartMakingSense where appropriate.
Ready to Get Started?
Contact your chapter’s SSDP staff coordinator and schedule a call to talk about your ideas. You can also feel free to reach out to International Program Manager Jake Agliata at email@example.com if you have broader questions about the campaign.