Rose, Andrew

Andrew Rose
13 August 2011Feature

Activists often experience traumatic events: violence expressed towards themselves or towards third parties, or the fear and anxiety that can develop as a result of new and threatening situations. Minor physical injuries are common, but the long-term impact of trauma on activists has only recently begun to be discussed. Websites such as Healing Trauma ( and groups such as the Aubonne Bridge network ( have started to provide materials and create spaces for activists to deal with trauma in the face of increasing repression. Starhawk has published some useful texts on this topic: See

In comparison to rape, perpetrating mass murder, or other terrible things, street demonstration is rel-atively less traumatic. However trauma is very much an individual thing and people can be severely effected by imprisonment, gassing, beatings by police, betrayal, or even unexpected behaviour by comrades or the state.

We can mourn little things as well as big things and it's healthy and we should. Spending time in the “sad space” intentionally allows us to delve deeper into the…