Allie's Reflections from Jewish Left Action Camp!

Last weekend I attended a non-violent direct action training that was put on by If Not Now, Never Again Action, and a new organization called Jews Against White Nationalism.  

It was a really cool experience to be in the room with Jewish folks of all ages, from all over the country, some with differing political views who were ready to throw down and acquire new direct action skills together, as the #NewJewishLeft.  It feels hard to summarize all of the things we covered, because there was so much content and so much of it seemed powerful, but below I’ll highlight the parts that stuck with me most: 

HOW WE PLAN AND CONCEIVE ACTIONS

Points of intervention:  This was a concept that was explained to us as a way to open up the way we think about planning actions.  So often, we plan our actions at the point of decision- i.e. causing a disruption at the place where the destructive decisions are being made.  We learned that there are tons of other ways to approach direct action by changing the point of intervention. Beautiful trouble has a ton of awesome resources that can help to diversify how and where we demonstrate our power through direct action.  It was a great exercise to think through different issues and all the different ways to demonstrate power at different points in the process.

Tactic, Tone, Setting:  As another exercise to open up the way we plan actions in new, creative ways, we did the tactic, tone, setting activity.  Essentially, there were three piles of note cards. The first pile had a different setting on each card, i.e. grocery story, public library, carnival, the park, etc.  The second pile had a different tactic on each card, i.e. mass disruption, sit in, die in, boycott, rally, political theater etc. The third had different tones on each card, i.e. serious, aggressive, sad, silly, etc.  The challenge was to pick one card from each pile, and to use 5 minutes to plan and act out an action that fits the three criteria. This made for some really interesting action ideas, and challenged me to expand the way I approach what actions can look like.  Also I laughed a lot when I watched a wedding officiated by Mike Pence, to celebrate the union of the republican party and white nationalism. 

 

Bonus points if you can find me in this joyful group photo!  

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