PEACEFUL direct action skills will be taught at a workshop in Wingham to equip members of the community with the knowledge to organise protest events.
Manning Clean Water Action Group will host the event on Saturday May 24 and it will feature instruction by Steve Phillips from Lock The Gate Alliance.
According to the group, Mr Phillips will explain the history, philosophy, practice and successes of non-violent direct action around the world. Issues that will be addressed in the workshop include:
o When is the best time for a direct action?
o What type of direct action is the best for the circumstances?
o Legal planning and strategy.
o Roles including police liaison, media spokesperson, office administration, arrestee support, worker liaison, drivers and photographers.
The group says the workshop is for "all those who care about our future and our children's future, the health of our community, our waterways and our environment. Please do not leave this to others. It is also our collective responsibility to stand up and be counted. This is a critical time for the whole community.
"Blockades and other forms of peaceful direct action have been used around the world for centuries. Peaceful direct action helped deliver civil rights to African-Americans, independence to India and women's suffrage to many countries.
"Many successful environmental campaigns have made effective use of peaceful direct action and civil disobedience, and this approach has recently been adopted around Australia by local communities acting to protect themselves from the invasion of coal and gas mining. When government and industry fail to listen to communities, direct action is often the only chance we have to make our voices heard and to protect what is important."
The workshop is free but the group says donations will be accepted. The venue is the Masonic Hall, Primrose Street in Wingham and the workshop will run from 10am to 4pm.