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De-Escalation Training with Extinction Rebellion

Posted by Guest Blogger on October 03, 2019 at 11:19 AM


As part of the 'Power-Up! Autumn of Action Training Series', we supported three young Extinction Rebellion activists to lead a training on de-escalation tactics in high-pressure situations of civil disobedience. Here is a short piece from one of the main organisers, Sarah.

Non-violence is one of Extinction Rebellion’s core principles, and ensuring that the environmental movement remains non-violent is critical to ensuring its success. A movement that is non-violent has a far greater reach and is far more inclusive than a violent campaign. Ensuring that non-violence is at the core of our movements also sends a powerful message: we are creating the vision of a society we with to see, one at which empathy and peace is at the core.

As part of this, it is important that people in the movement are aware of how to de-escalate tense situations and resolve any conflict that may arise. This is done through practicing empathy and active listening, getting to the core of a problem in order to resolve it in a peaceful manner. Last Friday, September 27th, we held a workshop on exactly this. People from the group shared methods of de-escalation which they have discovered in their own personal experience, as well as taking elements from Non-Violent Communications (NVC). This combination of proven psychological methods, as well as the activists’ own experiences, helped to facilitate a dialogue on how we as activists can ensure that our movement remains empathetic, inclusive, and peaceful.

 - Sarah

This traiining was funded by The Wheel's Training Links grant. Friends of the Earth is leading a project called The Climate Campaigners Building Programme, and other organisations we are collaborating with include:

  • Not Here Not Anywhere
  • Uplift
  • The All Ireland Student Activist
  • Friends of the Irish Environment
  • Cultivate
  • Feasta
  • Young Friends of the Earth
  • Good Energies Alliance
  • Under Current
  • Activist Legal Support
  • MERJ
  • LASC

and more.


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