Connecting local responses around the world
Utilising the CLCP self-assessment tool, I guided a group of climate activists through a process of "community self-reflection". Currently, this climate movement is reflecting back upon a period of many intense actions (e.g. blocking roads) in public spaces, and at the doorsteps of corporations.
This international movement has an established framework of 10 values/principles, very similar to what we call Practices in CLCP.
The principle "We are a non-violent network -- Using non-violent strategy and tactics as the most effective way to bring about change "--, was yesterday selected in a group of approx. eight participants as the key principle to reflect upon.
They concluded (1) non-violence is demonstrated commonly during direct actions, (2) the definition of non-violence requires further clarification: does it only concern actions in public space or does it include verbal aggression online and in meetings? (3) people from different parts of the world (e.g. activists from South America compared to participants born and raised in the Netherlands or Germany) experience different thresholds as to what is called violent.
The process leading up to these conclusions was effective:
- examples were exchanged (fact based)
- assumptions were challenged as we were thinking out loud together
- there was no pressure to agree
- there was no blaming/shaming
- the process was fluid: people changed perspective as a result of the exchange.
We thought using the CLCP self-assessment tool was helpful. The process is rapid and has depth at the same time, and can be used in any group, guided by an outside facilitator. Following self-assessment, groups can choose to improve on specific values/principles, and agree on follow-up actions to make it real.
I hope I can guide more groups within the movement through this type of self-assessment; it was a fulfilling experience.