Political hitchhiking

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Hitchhiking and (political) campaiging is an interesting and maybe controversial one. Hitchhiking can be seen as a sexy social, economical and environmental-friendly means of transport. But, hitchhiking can also be used for activism, team building, communication skills training...

Past Campaigns

Eurizons

EURIZONS 2006 adds up in… 8 national teams + 50 hitchhikers + 2500km + 8MDGs = 75 media reports, 2000 people reached in events and street action, 3 million people reached through media reports and 50 young Europeans qualified as multipliers + Eurizons 2007!
More Information: http://www.eurizons.net

Can I Get a Right

6th of March - 16th of March 2006: Amnesty International Student groups took part in the hitchhiking event “Can I Get a Right?” to Belarus. The event was dedicated to rise awareness about the worrying Human Rights situation in Belarus.
More Information: http://canigetaright.blogspot.com

Linkhitch

In the 17 years the Hitch has been running, over 4,440 people have successfully thumbed lifts across Europe. The Hitch takes place during the Easter period, with the average journey to Morocco around 6 days. The Hitch is organized every year by Link Community Development, a UK based charity organisation that tries to promote better education for children in Africa.
More Information: http://www.lcd.org.uk/events/hitch

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Viva Con Agua de Sankt Pauli Charity Hitch

Small charity race from Hamburg to Spain in order to rise attention for drinking water issues.In 2008 the hitchhike race was organized the first time and 12 hitchhikers from Germany and Austria joined.The hitchhikers called attention for drinkwater problems in different countries in Asia, Africa and Latin Americam. On the 2500km long lasting route from Hamburg to Zaragoza they spread 5000 flyers in 4 different languages and received different articles in TV, Press and Radio, promoting hitchhiking and the idea of combining social engagement&fun simultaneously.Beforehand they found themselves sponsors who donated one cent each hitchhiked kilometer.During the Hitch they did not collect a cent at all to keep hitchhiking free of money issues on the road.

Article at ZDF heute.de/German

Article Hamburger Abendblatt/German

Article at 20minuten/French

(with some quotes of these articles the organisation viva con agua doesn't agree at all, but unfortunetaly you never know what a journalist is writing...)


More Information: http://www.vivaconagua.org/index.htm?post?388
or the website of Viva con Agua de Kiel, one of the bases who actually run the hitchhiking project


Pros and Cons

Pro

  • Combination of fun/hobby with a good cause
  • hitchhiking in general receives lots of media interests if there is a social a political motivated background, so hitchhiking is getting promoted aswell
  • the reputation of hitchhiking could possibly become more positive
  • it is possible to reach a lot of different people and talk to them directly
  • good team building for hitchhikers that take part

Cons

  • it can be annoying for people picking up hitchhikers or end in a bigger confrontation if the background of political or social motivated background is strongly sensitive
  • if people decide to collect money on the road for their project it could be negative for the reputation of hitchhiking by many people , because it's actually totally enough if somebody wants to share his car and it would be unpolite to ask this person for money (or people stopping on gas stations)
  • a negative reputation of hitchhiking could also stay back with difficult political topics, e.g. migration that is negatively perceived - good preparation, good arguments are necessary that not only the link hitchhiker==migrant stays back