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Power Up! Movement Building Skills

Posted by Claudia Tormey on November 07, 2019 at 10:00 PM

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Power Up! is a series of workshops to help upskill and support the growing activist community in Ireland. Meaghan, head of Education and Activism, has identified where activists need the most support and has seeked out those with the relevant skills to deliver these trainings.

A chunk of the trainings consisted of basic training in necessary skills for those involved in groups campaigning for social change. In Dublin, Galway, and Cork, we supported trainings in Facilitation to take place. In Clare, we built on the intro to facilitation held during the Summer and saw a working in creating cohesiveness in activist groups take place, as we are a medley of humans after all and conflict is inevitable! In Galway, we looked at running Creative Actions and hope to support more of these in future… and maybe we’ll see more Gretas on the streets!

Taking Direct Action

We’ve seen a massive surge in direct action for climate justice across the country, and we were happy to be able to support by funding workshops in Dublin, Sligo, Limerick and Cloughjordan! We also supported workshops in skills necessary to direct action, such as affinity group formation, legal observer training and empathy first response. Read Sarah’s piece here about the Empathy-First Responder training she co-hosted.

Staying resilient in the face of chaos

Taking action for change is hard, and we know all too well how easy it is to burn out. That’s why we wanted to see workshops in emotional resilience taking place. We hosted an event in The Fumbally Stables for adult climate activists in October, the day after holding one specifically for youth climate strikers. An Active Hope and Resilient Movement-Building 5 week evening course is taking place in Galway with our support, and we hope Undercurrent Collective will run it again in the future. We also learnt with our very own Claudia how important physical movement and play is to keep the fire inside of us alive.

Communicating the challenges we face with empathy

It can be frustrating trying to articulate the existential challenge we face to the ones we love, especially when they may not feel the passion, worry or fear that we do. That’s why we worked with a fantastic facilitator to run two sessions - one in Belfast and one in Dublin - and staying empathic while communicating the tough topics to those in your life. We also worked with Uplift to see a practical workshop in ‘Words that Work’ to take place in the middle of November.

Collective Liberation - Intersectionality, Climate Justice, Anti-Discrimination and Anti-racism

“Only a fearless and holistic approach, which sacrifices no issue on the altar of any other, will deliver the deep transformation we need.”
(Naomi Klein, The Burning Case for a Green New Deal)

We need system change that challenges the unjust, extractive, exploitative and racist economic system that dictates how most of us live our day to day lives. Climate chaos is the message telling us that we need to change everything. That’s why we’re working to educate ourselves on what working on principles on climate justice and solidarity really looks like. We’re hear from those who understand all too well how the current economic system based on othering, based on sacrifice zones, based on degradation and exploitation of the Earth and the most marginalised on it, how that has impacted first and worst those who have done the least to cause the myriad intersecting crises we face.

What does this look like in our training programmes? Anti-racism, climate justice and intersectionality training. This work is never complete. To move forward and not leave anyone behind, it means we have to look backwards, and understand what systems and structures of oppression and hierarchy got us here in the first place.

Join us on November 16th for a workshop on ‘Challenging Colonialism, Capitalism, & Extractivism for Environmental Justice’.

"The intersectionality and climate justice workshop run on Saturday led to some incredibly interesting discussions around privilege, power, allyship and bringing intersectionality to the forefront of the climate movements in Ireland. We hope to run workshops like this again in the future, to empower more activists in the conversations around what Climate Justice really means." - Leontien & Sarah who ran Intersectionality and Climate Justice Training on November 2nd

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