Communities of Resistance 2019

Bootcamp and Everyday Activism alumni came together for two days of workshops, panels and networking at this year's Communities of Resistance conference.

What is the value of solidarity if it’s conditional of others being exactly like you?

Graduates of both Campaign Bootcamp’s residential and Everyday Activism training attended this year’s community conference – Communities of Resistance. Graduates from across the UK and as far back as Bootcamp 3 attended, proving the notion echoed by panelist Gethin Roberts that solidarity is possible across difference.

Campaigners from the last 14 Bootcamps attended a range of workshops and discussions, including those focussed on art and activism, LGBTQI+ and migrant solidarity, how to fundraise, how to build a website, ad-hacking, and knowing your rights as a campaigner. Here’s a run down of the weekend and information on how you could join us next year.

Creativity: Art and Activism

In an art, activism and radical printmaking workshop facilitated by printmaker and illustrator, Marissa Malik, participants created their own protest signs and learned about the history of screen-printing.

Ad-hacking team Special Patrol Group showed participants how to design their own ad-hacks for their creative campaigning strategies.

Bootcamp graduate Siana Bangura and filmmaker Troy James Aidoo began our first day by screening excerpts of their film ‘1,500 and Counting,’ which depicts the fact that of over 1500 deaths in police custody, a disproportionate amount have been victims of colour, despite people of colour making up no more than 14% of the British population.

Community: Your Rights and well-being as a campaigner

Mediator and trainer, Rif Sharif, ran a two-part workshop on conflict resolution helping participants explore their personal responses to conflict and understanding what they bring to the conflict. Participants also practiced how to use key skills, when dealing with inter-group or inter-personal conflict.

Bootcamp graduate Rowan Kinchin, of Green and Black Cross, ran a workshop on your rights during a protest. Campaigners were given an insight into their rights at protests, if they hit the streets to get their voices heard.

Challenge: Solidarity and Sharing Your Movement

New Economy Organisers Network’s Matthew Butcher came by to provide media training to participants needing a boost in their public speaking and raise awareness of their campaigns.

Founder of blackgirl.tech, Lola Odelola, taught campaigners how to make a website in a practical crash-course on the basics of making a website.

Campaign Bootcamp’s Fundraising and Evaluation Manager, Kayleigh, showed campaigners the basics of fundraising and offered a Q&A session for folks wanting more insight into how to raise the first few thousand pounds for their campaign without being a registered charity.

To round off the conference, Bootcamp Lead Trainer, Nim, hosted a panel discussion between Harry Jefferson-Perry (Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants), Gethin Roberts (Lesbians and Gay Men Support the Miners) and Veecca Smith Uka (African Rainbow Family) about solidarity across campaigning, particularly for LGBTQI+ and migrant rights.

Harry described the how far we’ve come in campaigning – ‘in our movement things have progressed but now we can look at using privileges to be involved in direct action for those who can’t.’

Gethin noted Solidarity is vital. At the end of the day there is no freedom for anybody unless everybody is free as well. It should be the basis of any kind of activism,’ following up with ‘anything that builds connections between different communities is worthwhile. What is the value of solidarity if its conditional of others being exactly like you?’

Veeca said ‘One of the pitfalls of solidarity is when someone comes to stand in solidarity with you and hijacks your ideas and your main focus. We see it everyday; people pushing others aside.’

Bringing campaigners together

Over the weekend many connections were made and community was built with graduates coming to renew their thinking and up their skills. Some travelled as far as Scotland and a handful of our participants from the Everyday Activism programme in Yorkshire, which you can read more about here.

We’re already excited for next year’s conference! If you’re a Bootcamp or Everyday Activism grad, then make sure you don’t miss out on next year’s community conference. And if you’re not a graduate, but this looks up your street, then be sure to sign up for our newsletter to find out when our next training residential takes place – and make an application to join our community of campaigners!

 

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