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Training for activists

This section contains a sample agenda for a short activist legal training and links to other training resources throughout the site. Use other handouts on this site as required.

Designing a legal Training

Each activist group has different needs and experience levels so strive to tailor each training accordingly.

It is important to work with the activists and any lawyers involved to make sure your information is relevent, authentic and accurate. The strength of activist legal trainings is that we can tailor a training for a group's specific needs without having to create an entirely new workshop.

It is important that trainings be more than just quick listings of possible charges and likely fines. These can sometimes deter activists rather than empower them.

When it comes to disseminating skills which allow activists to be safe, more effective, and make informed decisions, role-plays are a highly effective training method.

Good activist legal training includes a series of brief role-plays, where trainers take the role of police officers and participants play the role of the activist.

Each role-play is accompanied by a brief discussion, and a question and answer session, before moving on to the next role-play. The format keeps the audience's attention, and drives each lesson home.

A simple training can include 10 such role-plays in about two hours.

As a Legal Support Team or legal trainer you can expand your menu of role-plays to encompass an arrest at a protest, police attempts to intimidate activists into giving up their rights, and others. Police attempts to move a stall, police attempts to use bluff and threats when questioning an activist, police attempts to search an office or home.