Campaigning Workshop at IASC 2013 Conference

John Powell and Chris Short from the CCRI have travelled to Japan for the 14th Global Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons.

Here, John provides a brief overview of the first workshop they helped facilitate.

A small group of people attended the workshop on campaigning run by Kate Ashbrook of the Open Spaces Society with support from Chris short and John Powell of the CCRI.  Participants came from India, USA, Japan, and France and all either are involved or have had involvement in some aspect of ‘campaign’ type work (for example fisher’s rights, helping people stand up for their rights, international commons issues). 

 Kate started off by explaining the term ‘campaigning’ which is understood in different ways in different cultures, and in particular as militant or extreme action in some countries.  Campaigning was defined by Kate as: ‘an organised course of action to achieve change’. She then went on to present the basic principles of campaigning: working out what you want to achieve, identifying who needs to be persuaded, and how you will develop arguments to do that. 

 The participants then applied the principles of campaigning to a hypothetical scenario based around Mt Fuji and finished the session by discussing some of their own campaign aims.  Some interesting insights came out of the discussion, particular the difficulties of getting gaoled in some countries for basic campaigning activities such as writing to the press.