How to get involved

Thanks to the revolutions of 1989, we’re able to enjoy freedoms that so many people before us were denied. We’re free to vote, protest, love and pray – and we want to keep it that way. Now, however, our hard-won freedoms are under threat, and we need you to pledge to make a difference and to help spread the word about #keepfreedomunlocked.

It’s time to stand up for democracy, and there are six things you can do to fight back:

1Stand up for what you believe in

Get engaged and speak up about the issues that matter to you. You don’t have to be a politician, a celebrity or a social media star to have influence. Use your platform – however small – to make your voice heard. Get on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and share your opinions; join political parties, associations and community groups that align with your views, and take part in peaceful protests to ensure your opinions are counted. In a democracy every voice is important, so make sure you’re using yours.

2Vote for the things you care about

The right to vote is at the core of every democracy, so it’s essential you turn up and make sure your voice is heard. Who you vote for and why is up to you, but the most important thing is that you show up and put your vote in the ballot box. If you don’t vote, you can’t complain when things don’t go your way. From major referendums to local elections, it’s up to you to get involved in the debate, clue up on the politics, and – most importantly – use your vote to make a difference.

3Check the facts and support a free press

Question what you read on social media, check the sources of facts in news articles, debunk disinformation, and be a champion of the truth. A free press keeps our leaders accountable, but independent publications can’t exist without your support. Subscribe to the newspapers and magazines you value, support your local radio stations and share your favourite media far and wide.

4Educate yourself about the world

To change the world, you need to understand it. In today’s world, we have access to more information than ever before, so use it to educate yourself about politics, policy and global current affairs. Learn about what’s going on around the world and how it impacts you and the people around you. Delve into your history to find out how freedoms were taken away in the past, and how they were won back. Knowledge is power, so make sure you take up the freedom to learn as much as you can.

5Defend the freedoms of others

Authoritarians often start by picking on minorities and those with least power, hoping that the majority will simply stand by as rights are gradually eroded. So it’s essential to stand up for anyone whose freedoms come under attack, even if it doesn’t affect you personally. It’s particularly important to speak up for groups who face systematic oppression, particularly those who are attacked for their race, religion, gender identity, or sexuality. If the freedom of one group is attacked, the freedom of others is never far behind.

6Post a photo of your key on social media

Share the #keepfreedomunlocked message and help to build a chain reaction of change and solidarity. Take a photo or video with your key – whether it’s a selfie, a photo of a key in your city, or something totally outside of the box – and post it on social media. Explain what freedom means to you or pledge to take action to fight for democracy. Don’t forget to add the hashtag #keepfreedomunlocked.

Why the key?

During the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia in 1989, protestors took to the streets, symbolically jangling their keys in a display of defiance. This highlighted their desire to unlock freedom, and open the door to a brave new world where people are free to think, act, speak, believe and love without fear.

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