2021 Global Day of Action: Undoing the ‘war’, building the future that our communities have always deserved

50 years ago, the government of the United States launched a ‘war on drugs’ that would tragically define the decades to come.

The idea that the challenges posed by drugs could be addressed through an ‘all-out offensive’ spread like wildfire across the globe, primed by international agreements produced against the backdrop of political expediency and bigotry, rather than evidence and empathy.

The consequences have been devastating. Some of them can be counted in the millions who have been arrested, incarcerated, and lost prematurely to wholly preventable deaths. But most of the impacts, reflected in personal stories of pain, trauma, and exclusion, cannot be reduced to numbers.

Every year, on 26 June, the Support. Don’t Punish campaign mobilises in reaction to this violence and this loss, to build sustainable alternatives that end cycles of punishment and marginalisation, and rather advance our communities’ health, human rights and well-being.

For the last 9 years, building on the experience of campaigners and activists that came before us, we have promoted this change within our communities, engaging with the grassroots, with the public, policymakers and the media.

Last year, despite the ongoing and dire challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic situation, our message was heard by thousands in at least 239 cities of 90 countries! (Read more on the 2020 Global Day of Action here!)

This year, once again, we will mobilise with the same spirit of care and determination. Because, together, our voices are louder, our collective message is stronger, and our capacity to make change is unstoppable!

Got plans? Let us know using the form below or via e-mail!

Importance notice on COVID-19

At the moment of writing these lines, 2.7 million people had lost their lives to the pandemic. Despite the hope carried by vaccination programmes, the world is still facing a catastrophe and we encourage you to think carefully about how your plans may be affected by the pandemic situation. In the Call, we ask you to devise contingency plans. In thinking about these, please check out the Bank of Ideas for Mobilisation (available in English and Spanish) as well as the report for the 2020 Global Day of Action, which includes many examples of remote/distanced mobilisation.

Call for Expressions of Interest

This Call allows us to identify plans and share with the wider movement, as well as to assess your needs and provide support where possible. The deadline to submit a response is Sunday, 2 May 2021.


  • Submission period: 23 March – 2 May 2021
  • Assessment period: 3-7 May 2021
  • Notification of support & expected disbursement period: 10 – 24 May 2021
  • Feedback submission period: July – August 2021
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