On 7 June 2014 individuals and organisations from around the world took part in the first Global Day of Citizen Action, a participatory campaign asking people if they feel free to speak out, organise and take action within their country.
The campaign, conceptualised and co-ordinated by CIVICUS, came as part of the Civic Space Initiative, through which CIVICUS, the World Movement for Democracy, Article 19 and the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law seek to raise awareness of increasing threats to freedom of expression, association and assembly. Civic space is as an essential element of democratic societies, a public arena allowing individuals and civil-society organisations the freedom to speak out, organise and take action.
This campaign comes at an important time. Countries around the world are increasingly restricting citizen freedoms. In some the surveillance of ordinary citizens, activists and civil-society organisations is commonplace; in others there has been repression and arrests. To combat these restrictions it is vital that all individuals understand their freedoms and strive to protect them.
The Global Day of Citizen Action inspired more than 40 events and activities in more than 25 countries around the globe. Citizens mobilised in villages, towns and cities to draw attention to the rights and civic freedoms they should enjoy.
Photos from individuals around the world were taken and shared using Twitter, Facebook and the Global Day of Citizen Action webpage. There was also an online participation platform, where individuals could log on to upload a photo of themselves and share their views.
• To join the global conversation, share stories and become part of a growing global movement for positive social change visit Be The Change. To see more photos people have shared throughout the campaign visit the Global Day of Citizen Action page or the CIVICUS Facebook page.