Activism online! London CAAT share tips and tricks for online group work

Creative Action online: People show support for the victims of the Yemen war

For obvious reasons, activism on the streets is not an option at the moment but we can continue our activism in other ways (all hail the internet!). For example, we couldn’t hold our vigil for Yemen as planned at the UK Trade and Investment Defence and Security Organisation, so we held an online day of action alongside activists from across Europe. Keeping it simple in terms of asks seemed to work (a maximum of two should do it).

We asked people to post about the devastating effect of the war on the Yemeni people and the UK’s complicity in it as well as asking them to write to the Attorney General to ask him to move forward with the prosecution of Airbus on corruption charges regarding a deal to supply communications equipment to the Saudi Arabian National Guard – you can still do that here.

When asking people to make posts online, including some suggested text and statistics for social media posts increases the likelihood of people taking action as it makes it easy for them to repost. Providing them with relevant information and links is also useful – they can include this info in any actions they take/posts they write.

Running meetings online

In terms of meetings, there are various packages you can use. This article gives you a run down of some you might consider.

When meetings are online, you need to facilitate them differently. During our last meeting, we used a hands up system – i.e. when someone wanted to speak, they raised their hand and the chair would give them the floor, so to speak. This prevented people speaking over each other. One person wasn’t able to get their video to work so we got them to write a letter in the chat function when they wanted to speak but obviously it is best to get everyone on camera as that aids the flow of the meeting so sending round clear instructions on how to use whatever software you are using is key.

You could also ask people who are using the software for the first time/think they will struggle with it to sign on with you prior to the meeting so you can troubleshoot any problems. Most of the packages include options for sharing your screen so that can allow you to share any websites or documents with others (and allow them to share anything relevant too).

Each group may take different approaches but it is worth thinking about how you onboard new members (this can equally apply to in person meetings too!), both in terms of how you introduce them to your group and its purpose when you can’t meet them in person and also in terms of security, particularly if your actions involve non-violent direct action. We’ll be sharing more tips on that in the next week or two so stay tuned!

Covid19: Solidarity in a time of crisis

As the UK enters lockdown and introduces social distancing measures to combat the spread of covid19, we’re asking local groups and campaigners to take their work online, and to cancel or postpone meetings and events. This is in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) advice to the public to practise good hygiene, frequent hand washing, and social distancing. You can read more about what this means on the WHO website. Continue reading “Covid19: Solidarity in a time of crisis”

Malvern activists challenge arms fair!

The Three Counties Defence and Security Arms fair in Malvern in July hosted some of the world’s biggest manufacturers of weaponry, including BAE Systems and Thales. This is business at a massive cost – a human, environmental, and social disaster. But local activists were there to challenge it.

If you’re a Malvern local and interested in further action, email kat(at)caat.org.uk to get in touch with the group.

activists cluster around the Qinetiq sign with placards and banners
Activists protest outside Qinetiq in Malvern

Continue reading “Malvern activists challenge arms fair!”

#StopDPRTE ‘19 – Farnborough Action Report

The organisers of the DPRTE arms fair made the decision to move their event to the ‘high security’ Farnborough International Ltd. so that they could go about their ghastly business unimpeded. On the 28th March, we set about making sure that those in attendance received the iciest reception Rushmoor had to offer.

Greater Rushmore against war assembled with banners and placards against the DPRTE arms fair Continue reading “#StopDPRTE ‘19 – Farnborough Action Report”

Not Welcome in Farnborough, Not Welcome Anywhere #StopDPRTE

Owen from Greater Rushmoor Against War speaks out about the arms fair happening right on their doorstep- and tells you how you can support the campaign and the Day of Action on March 28th.

Follow the Greater Rushmoor Against War group on Facebook and Twitter.

If you wanted evidence of just how effective sustained protest against the arms trade can be, look no further than the campaign run by Birmingham Stop the Arms Fair. With the promise of a day of creative action à la prior protests in Cardiff and Bristol, Birmingham NEC were pressured into stating that it was ‘more appropriate for DPRTE to be hosted at a more self-contained venue.’ The fact that this arms fair cannot be held in public space anymore is testimony to the general antipathy the general public holds for this amoral trade. It is for this reason that DPRTE 2019 now finds itself behind the chainlink fence of the ‘high security’ Farnborough Exposition and Conference Centre.

"Stop

Continue reading “Not Welcome in Farnborough, Not Welcome Anywhere #StopDPRTE”

“It is up to each of us to stop the killing where it starts”: No retrial for Stop DSEI activists

In 2015, a group of eight activists were arrested while taking action against the DSEI arms fair, and later acquitted as a judge ruled they took action to prevent a greater crime. The Winter Oak reports on the CPS challenge to their acquittal- you can read a longer version of this article at winteroak.org.uk.

In a judgement handed down today (Friday July 14 2017), the High Court overturned the acquittal of eight anti-militarists for disrupting the setup of the DSEI arms fair in 2015. Nevertheless, it ruled that in the interests of justice, none of the activists would be re-tried or face costs.activists raise their fists behind a stop the arms fair banner Continue reading ““It is up to each of us to stop the killing where it starts”: No retrial for Stop DSEI activists”

Stop Arming Saudi activists call for further action

Quaker activist Sam Walton and Rev Daniel Woodhouse have pled ‘Not Guilty’ to criminal damage at their pre-trial hearing, and called for further action to Stop Arming Saudi. Sam Walton reports.

Back in January we broke into BAE System’s Warton Airbase to try and disarm warplanes they are selling to the Saudis. The Saudi are using those planes in their bombing campaign that is devastating Yemen. We had to take action to prevent crimes against humanity.sam walton and Rev Daniel Woodhouse outside the magistrates court Continue reading “Stop Arming Saudi activists call for further action”

Resisting the Arms Trade in Aotearoa/New Zealand – Part Two

In late 2016, Auckland Peace Action (APA) organised a successful week of action against the New Zealand Defence Industry Association’s annual weapons expo in Aotearoa (New Zealand). Arms dealers found themselves locked out of the venue by the blockades. You can read more about their actions on the Peace Action Wellington blog, and in APA’s report.

Tom Anderson – an anti-militarist writer from Shoal Collective – interviewed Valerie Morse from APA about the group and the week of action. This interview is the second in a two part series about anti-militarism in Aotearoa. See part one here.

Content Note: Discussion of police violence/sexual assault.Auckland Peace Action blockade a military base with a banner reading "NZ troops out now" Continue reading “Resisting the Arms Trade in Aotearoa/New Zealand – Part Two”

“The situation in Yemen is catastrophic. We must act”

Journalists within Saudi often face persecution, but two Saudi nationals based in the UK have started a new media channel with the aim of “building bridges between the people of Arabia and the people around the world”. Their first post to inaugurate the channel is a report on a recent meeting on arms sales to Saudi in Bolton.

You can watch their video report of the event below, and follow them on twitter @Mngro_com.

Continue reading ““The situation in Yemen is catastrophic. We must act””