1 February 2024News in Brief

In January, activist training group Seeds for Change published the latest edition of their newsletter... five years after the previous one.

They launched three new direct action guides – ‘What is Direct Action’, ‘Action Planning’, and ‘The Impact of Convictions’ – and a new podcast mini-series.

Seeds have new funding to provide free workshops to activists. They urge groups to get in touch.

They also trailed a short film: ‘Prepare to be captivated by our upcoming animated…

1 June 2019News in Brief

Who’s offering training in nonviolent direct action right now?

 Seeds for Change, based in Lancaster: 01524 509 002; London Roots:

1 August 2018Feature

Reflections on a recent 12-day ‘Sustaining Resistance’ training for trainers in Catalunya

Based in the large building to the right, the Ulex Project is a residential activist training centre in the Catalonian town of Eroles. Photo: Ulex

Burnout is a topic that is close to my heart. Having experienced a couple of intense periods of burnout and having recently realised that I continue to hold chronic low-level stress, tiredness and anxiety in my body, the question ‘How can we do sustainable activism?’ is one that I am constantly seeking answers to.

Doing activism…

1 August 2017Feature

NEW DATES 14 –17 June 2018

Do you want to strengthen your workshop facilitation skills? Do you want to help social change groups and mission-driven NGOs deal more skilfully with social class and classism in their own organisations, in their members’ lives and in the wider society?

If so, Exploring Class may be for you.

This intensive, three-day Training of Trainers draws on several decades of work in the US and will adapt US tools to the UK class system. The residential draws in particular from the…

1 June 2016News

'Direct education' returns to the UK

TSAT workshop, 17 April, Friends House, London. Photo: PN

In April, two dozen activists, facilitators and trainers from around the UK took part in two advanced workshops led by Erika Thorne and Nico Amador from the US group, Training for Change (TfC).

TfC’s ‘Training for Social Action Trainers’ and ‘Advanced Training of Trainers’ workshops finally took place in London after two years of hard work by Peace News, Turning the Tide and Campaign Bootcamp.

A comment…

1 April 2016Comment

PN's editor reflects on the role of training in creating social change

Jiway Tung, Ayesha D’Souza, Jay Masika and Matthew Armstead (left–right, foreground) during ‘Creative Workshop Design’, part of Training for Change’s Super-T training, Philadelphia, 7 June 2014. Photo: Milan Rai

Let’s put two things next to each other. On the one hand, Peace News is committed to nonviolent revolution, to the nonviolent transformation of society including the replacement of capitalism by participatory democracy in the workplace and the reorganisation of the…

1 February 2016Feature

Top tips from Paris!

While PN staff were in Paris for the climate protests, we were taught by Reclaim the Power how to make human blockades stronger. (The blockade was to protect the Red Lines action on D12.)

1. Everyone wears a backpack. TOP TIP: Reclaim the Power advised us to wear peaked caps so that we could duck our heads down to protect our eyes if the police walked along the line pepper-spraying our faces.

2. Everyone loosens their backpack straps.

3. The…

7 October 2015Blog

Turning the Tide is recruiting trainers to join its volunteer training team. 

Turning the Tide supports people at the grassroots to work effectively for social change. The trainers deliver workshops and events and are supported by the community of trainers and Turning the Tide staff.

The opportunity is open to anyone sympathetic to Quakers with facilitation skills and experience of working at the grassroots for social change. If you are interested, or know someone who might be, please go to the…

3 April 2014Comment

There is a saying in the field of community development finance – providing credit to disadvantaged groups – that if you never have a bad loan (that isn’t re-paid), you aren’t doing it right. You ought to be going to the risky, hard-to-reach areas, where things don’t work out.

I think something like this happened to the Peace News Winter Gathering, which turned into the Peace News Spring Training, which has unfortunately been withdrawn by Seeds for Change, who were going to be…

1 July 2013Feature

One of the world’s leading activist trainers draws on decades of experience

I want to give a warning shot to anti-oppression trainers and activists. My bottom line is this: we need to stop applying theory onto people’s experiences, wielding it like a weapon to describe what we believe whether we actually see it in a room or not. It’s not smart organising, creates intense backlash, and shrinks – not grows – our movements.

An organiser recently shared with me an example of what I’m talking about.

He was working in a union that represents workers at a…

22 May 2013Comment

In March I spent a week in the eco-cabins at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales, at a workshop organised by trainers from three training collectives – Rhizome, Tripod and Seeds for Change.

The workshop focussed on naming and exploring many of the dynamics that so often go unspoken and unprocessed in groups.

I was part of the mainstream of the group – I come from a grassroots ‘activist’ culture, I’ve been to university, I’m from the UK, I’m white. Being part of the group’s mainstream meant I was one of the people who had the power to make the subtle decision of what behaviours and attitudes were acceptable in the space; essentially, I helped define…

11 May 2013Feature

An interview with Seeds for Change

Consensus decision-making has been growing more widespread in a variety of movements, from environmental activists, to co-operatives, to the recent explosion of Occupy camps. Rebecca Smith of Seeds for Change told PN: ‘We have seen a change in meeting culture in Britain, towards a greater awareness of the value of participation and the methods that make it possible.’

“The first step is learning to be honest with yourself."

Seeds for Change, a training and support network, has…

5 April 2013Feature

British trainers were invited by Kenyan Quakers  to share skills for social struggles against injustice

Nonviolence training run by Turning the Tide Photo : Turning th e Tide

‘Our colonial masters were brutal in their governance. The independence leaders saw that as their role model, so they too used oppression and brutality to rule. It became generational. We have not been taught alternative ways of making our point.’ These are the words of Malesi Kinaro, executive director of Friends Peace and Community Development, a Kenyan Quaker organisation that in…

5 April 2013Feature

African activists work to prevent election violence and make social change

Back story

Laura Shipler Chico

When violence erupted after Kenya’s last elections in 2007, Kenyan Quakers were quick to respond – first with humanitarian aid, then listening to people’s stories. Eventually they began to help people process their trauma and knit their communities back together. However, they soon began to see that, in order to build a lasting peace, they needed to speak out…

9 March 2013Feature

Many of us have beliefs about ourselves that prevent us from doing what we want to do, or being who we want to be. Those beliefs can follow us around like a ghost for large chunks of our lives. At the beginning of the year, I participated in Training for Change’s epic seven-day training for trainers in Margate. I went there expecting to pick up some new exercises and learn the subtleties of group dynamics. What I hadn’t bargained for were some pretty eye-opening realisations about myself.…