Nonviolent Direct Action Skills Workshop (Sutherland)
Saturday 31 May 2014
9:30am – 4:30pm
Sutherland Multi-Purpose Centre
123 Flora St
Sutherland (5 mins from Sutherland Train Station)
(view on map)
Cost: $40/20 (conc)
Many of us have experiences of activism that left us alienated, disheartened and angry. We want to make a difference to the world but we’re not sure how. In this workshop, we explore nonviolent direct action as both a moral and powerful means of social change, using a variety of resources, stories and role-plays. We will consider the symbolic and strategic role of nonviolent direct action, talk about fears and consequences, consider the place of nonviolent action in larger campaigns, look at the different roles people play in actions and explain the process of ‘getting arrested’ in a nonviolent civil disobedience action so people understand what that involves. We will run a nonviolent direct action role-play to give people a chance to try it all out, and finish with a chance to discuss and plan possible actions based on participants’ interests.
The emphasis in this workshop is on action skills development and ‘getting ready’ to take action, rather than the philosophy, spirituality and history of nonviolence.
Justin Whelan is the Mission Development Manager at Paddington Uniting Church, a role that involves lay ministry, community development and community organising that empowers people to be the ‘change they want to see in the world’. In his spare time he researches social movements with a particular interest in strategic nonviolent struggle. A lifelong activist whose first protest event was in the womb, Justin’s advocacy credits include winning amendments to the Anti-Terrorism Bill 2005 and swearing at his Year 11 maths teacher for failing to listen to a student’s pleas for remarking an exam. Justin has participated in numerous nonviolent direct actions in support of peace, human rights and the environment, and has been arrested for civil disobedience twice. Justin was one of the proponents of the Uniting Church in NSW-ACT’s resolution to divest from fossil fuels in April 2013.
Bill Ryan, 92 year old WW2 veteran and front line ‘protector’ at Maules Creek (video)